Thailand in the face of HIV/AIDS

As December 1st. has been designated the World Aids Day, several events aimed at raising awareness of the danger of Aids were held throughout Thailand, hoping to prevent as many deaths from the deadly virus as possible.
World AIDS Day has been drawing people from around the world who gather to raise awareness of the danger of HIV/AIDS, as well as to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of this severe pandemic, which has claimed millions of lives worldwide.
Thailand is one of a few developing countries in the world, of which the policy against the virus has been very effective in preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS on a national scale. Since 1990s, a massive program has been established to control HIV transmission, focusing on the use of condoms among commercial sex workers, youngsters, and gays.
However, in the new millennium there have been signs of dissatisfaction as prevention measures budget have been cut down to just 8 percent of the national budget in 2000. Many people have expressed concerns over the focus on the disease prevention which has been declining, given it may put the public at high risk. Several reports indicated that condom usage had decreased and the rate of STI transmission had dramatically increased, leaving the new generation of youngsters ignorant of HIV’s dangers.
According to statistics from AVERT’s charity, one of the most popular HIV/AIDS websites in the world, the number of people in Thailand living with HIV by the end of 2007 was 610,000; more than 90 percent of whom were adults over 15; of the number, 31,000 died from the disease that year.
Remaining committed to tackling the problems head-on, the government has this year organized a number of activities nationwide to inform people of ways to keep the deadly virus at bay; one among which is the use of condoms, which has been demonstrated to the audience. Aimed at urging Thais to practice safe sex in order to prevent the deadly AIDS, the demonstrations have targeted those vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, teenagers, gays, prostitutes, illegal immigrants, and drug addicts. This year’s event has been organized under the title ‘Talking Sex; HIV is a- 100 % preventable disease.’
In Samutsongkram Province, the Teen Center has continued to play its role in educating Thai youths on the preventive measures for HIV. The center has repeatedly warned parents and guardians to look after their kids to make sure that they know how to take care of themselves. Leaflets on HIV preventive measures have been handed out to the people in Kanchanaburi province in an attempt to inform them of ways to prevent contraction.
In dealing with this deadly disease, fast and effective action must be taken in order to save thousands of lives each year.

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