Thailand To Launch Condom Campaign

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Thai Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla recently at Thailand's11th annual national seminar on HIV/AIDS said he is concerned about theincreasing number of HIV cases in the country, especially among marriedcouples, the Bangkok Post reports. According to the Post,about 40% of the 18,000 new HIV cases diagnosed annually in Thailandoccur among women who contract the virus from their husbands. About 28%of new cases are among men who have sex with men and 10% are amongcommercial sex workers, according to the Post.

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Mongkolsaid he is considering launching a "family condom" campaign andencouraging married couples to be monogamous. "Using condoms should beregarded as showing respect to each other so that both husband and wifewill be safe from sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS,"Mongkol said, adding that women also should "stand up for a better dealfrom their husbands."

The Thai National Committee on AIDS will carry out the condom-promotion program with Mechai Viravaidya, chair of the Population and Community Development Association. Mechai said that as part of the program, the committee will ask hotels to put complimentary condoms in guest rooms (Apiradee, Bangkok Post, 7/5).

Inaddition, Mongkol at the seminar said that Thailand soon will providelegal protection to women whose partners refuse to wear condoms duringsex, the Thai News Service reports. According to an agreement reached at a recent UNAIDSmeeting in Geneva, laws on social issues and gender equality should beimplemented as primary solutions to curb the spread of HIV, Mongkolsaid (Thai News Service, 7/5).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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