Phuket still high in HIV/Aids rankings

PHUKET: The island has the fifth-highest reported number of people infected with HIV in the Thailand, and the second-highest in the South, according to the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO).

Eam-on Kittitornkul, Chief of the Aids Division at the PPHO, said that, at the last count, there were 3,729 known cases in the province: a substantial increase from the roughly 2,000 registered cases registered last year.

The rise in reported cases is not necessarily an indication of a higher rate of infection, K. Eam-on said. “When people learn that we have stocks of medicine to treat HIV, they show up in large numbers at the PPHO, so the statistics soar,” she explained.

“Still, if people do not take precautions HIV/Aids could be a serious problem in the next four to five years.”

K. Eam-on said that the PPHO offers Aids information knowledge and distributes condoms in areas where teenagers gather.

Most sufferers are between 25 and 39 years old, she said, with 88.6% of cases stemming from sexual relations and 4.28 % from sharing syringes. Another 2.45% of cases consist of children contracting the disease from their mothers, while still in the womb. K. Eam-on did not reveal what the causes of the remaining 4.67% cases were.

Ranong has the highest number of HIV-infected people in Thailand, followed by Chiang Rai, Trat, Phayao and Phuket.

Phuket News
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