Majority Of Thai Youth Lack Knowledge About HIV/AIDS

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About 77% of young people in Thailand have limited knowledge about HIV/AIDS, the Ministry of Public Health said recently, TNA/MCOT Newsreports. A surveillance report released last month found that about321,650 people in the country are living with HIV/AIDS and that half ofthem are between ages 25 and 34. According the report, most peopleliving with HIV in the country contracted the virus during adolescenceand began to show symptoms when they reached adulthood.


About23% of young men and 26% of young women in Thailand fully understandthe development and seriousness of HIV/AIDS, according to a survey onHIV/AIDS knowledge among youth. In addition, a report on risky sexualbehavior in the country found that about 50% of Thai youth use condomsduring casual sexual encounters. The report also found that the averageage among sexually active youth is 15, compared with 18 as indicated ina previous survey. The earlier survey also found that 36% of malestudents and 28% of female students engage in sexual intercourse.

DeputyPermanent Secretary for Public Health Paichit Varachit said thatchanges in the social environment in Thailand have increased concernsabout HIV transmission among adolescents. He added that risky sexualbehavior could lead to the spread of HIV and unplanned pregnancies.Such issues also will increasingly affect families, communities and theentire country, according to Paichit (TNA/MCOT News, 10/24).

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