AIDS Named Leading Cause of Death in Thailand
AIDS is the leading cause of death in Thailand, with one in 60 Thais infected with HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. Deputy Public Health Minister Surapong Suebwong-lee announced on Friday that AIDS had surpassed accidents, heart disease and cancer as the country's top killer, adding that he "hoped the new finding would ensure Thailand received a 'fair share' of the United Nations' global AIDS fund." According to Surapong, AIDS had been "under-reported" in the country because relatives of victims in rural areas were "reluctant" to report AIDS-related illness as the cause of death. The Thai UNAIDS office said that Thailand's AIDS-related deaths will continue to rise, as Thais who were infected at the beginning of the epidemic 10 years ago start to "sicken and die in large numbers." One-third of Thailand's one million HIV-positive residents have already died (Agence France-Presse, 8/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.