Pattaya

Condom usage reportedly drops among Pattaya sex workers, STDs increase

In perhaps the worst city to not wear a condom, Pattaya’s sex workers are reportedly using condoms less than in pre-Covid days, according to disease control officials.

A nurse from Pattaya’s Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Department, Nakanya Jantrakard, said the number of reported cases of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases has gone up since 2019.

In a meeting with charity networks, health workers and non-governmental organisations, representatives struggled to figure out how to reverse the trend, Pattaya Mail reported today.

Last month, it was reported that the percentage of AIDS infections has been rising among young Thais. According to the director of the Disease Control Department’s Division of AIDS, nearly two-thirds of new HIV infections were in young people.

The director, Dr Cheewanan Lertpiriyasuwat, said this was much higher than the global average of around 30%.

According to the AIDS Epidemic Model, about 6,500 Thai citizens are likely to have contracted HIV in 2021. That year, 9,300 people in Thailand died from AIDS, Thai PBS reported.

Cheewanan said that one factor in the spread of AIDS is people hooking up with strangers online.

The president of the Thai Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS said he believed some people may have stopped coming for antiretroviral drugs because they were worried about the stigma attached to anti-AIDS medication.

Other HIV patients might struggle financially, and have difficulties travelling to pick up the medicines, he said.

According to a 2019 survey, about a quarter of Thais still have a negative attitude toward people living with HIV. The government wants to eliminate any stigma about AIDS and HIV-positive people by renewing an old message that has been forgotten – the importance of using protection and regular HIV testing.

Last month, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stressed the need to inform people about the need to use protection during sex.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.