Thai Health Ministry Urges Married Couples To Be Tested Regularly for HIV, Adhere to ABC, Official Says
Thailand's Ministry of Public Health is urging hospitals nationwide to encourage abstinence, faithfulness, condom use and regular HIV testing for married couples after the country recorded an increase in new HIV cases among married women, Sombat Tanprasertsuk -- director of the country's AIDS, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Bureau -- said on Friday, the Bangkok Post reports. According to a health ministry report, more than 30% of the roughly 17,000 new HIV cases in Thailand in 2005 were among married women. The health ministry's Partner Notification initiative aims to distribute five million condoms to married couples by the end of 2006, Sombat said. Nimit Tien-udom, director of the AIDS Access Foundation, said the government needs to boost its promotion of condom use and expand condom-use education beyond higher-risk groups to the entire country (Apiradee, Bangkok Post, 9/9). The health ministry's Disease Control Department in January said that there were 18,000 new HIV cases in 2005, a decline of about 10% from 2004. The number of AIDS-related deaths in the country also declined from 5,020 in 2004 to 1,640 in 2005, according to the health ministry (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.