Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
HIV Infection Rate Rises Above 20% in Hanoi Prostitutes, Report Says
Vietnam's Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, quoting a report from the country's Anti-Social Vices Department, has reported that 21.6% of Hanoi prostitutes are HIV-positive, up from 2.8% in 1998, Reuters reports. The report stated that drug use among prostitutes is increasing, and women are beginning to work as prostitutes at younger ages. Estimating that there are more than 40,000 prostitutes in the country, the report said that figure "could be far higher" because out of the nation's 70,000 waitresses, 80% are willing to provide "sexual services." The report provided no mention of how the data were collected and analyzed. Prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, but has become "rampant" in urban centers since market reforms were made in the 1980s. The Vietnamese Health Ministry reported last month that it expects 46,000 people will die of AIDS and 200,000 will be diagnosed with HIV in the next five years (Reuters, 12/7).
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