HIV Cases Among Married Couples In Thailand Increasing

Armen Hareyan's picture

The percentage of new HIV cases recorded among married couples inThailand has increased from 38.7% of new diagnoses in 2005 to 40% ofnew diagnoses in 2006, according to a recent survey by Thailand's Department of Disease Control, Thailand's Nation reports.

Accordingto the survey, between 44% and 52% of married couples in the countryengage in unprotected sex. The survey also found that 22% of new HIVdiagnoses were among men who have sex with men. In addition, 11% of menwho are newly diagnosed contracted the virus from commercial sexworkers, and 10% contracted the virus from their partners, the surveyfound.


Thawat Suntrajarn, chief of DDC, said the agency has aplan in place to prevent the spread of the virus, particularly amongmarried couples. The DDC and Ministry of Public Healthplan to provide 20 million condoms in hospitals to couples living withHIV/AIDS to combat the spread of the virus. In addition, the healthministry will provide HIV-positive people with 10 condoms monthly andantiretroviral drugs at no cost. DDC also will provide 10 condomsmonthly to HIV-positive people who do not show symptoms and willencourage their partners to receive HIV tests.

Thai Pharmaceutical Organization, Indian Company To Build Facility To Manufacture Antiretrovirals

In related news, Thailand's Government Pharmaceutical Organization is collaborating with the Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero Drugsto build a facility in Thailand to manufacture antiretrovirals. GPOManaging Director Witit Artavakun said the facility will producebetween 80 million and two billion tablets annually -- enough toprovide antiretroviral access to all Thais in need of the drugs. Thefacility, which will cost about 850 million baht, about $27 million, isexpected to be completed within 18 months, the Nation reports (Pongphon, Nation, 10/11).

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