Sexwork Cyber Center
By Dave in Phoenix
PO Box 55045, Phoenix AZ 85078-5045

Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality

Thailand Intimacy & Healthy (Adult) Sexuality Research Report

COPYRIGHTED 1999 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - MAY BE REPRINTED OR QUOTED FROM ONLY IF CREDIT IS GIVEN, and/or show link to page where material was quoted if you are getting it from our website. I request a note where it was quoted or republished or if reprinted a copy of the publication. I hope the information is helpful to many, but want to be sure it is properly credited as I try and do for all material I use.

AIDS & HIV Risks In Thailand
Good News BUT: Always Use A Condom !

Thailand is one of the most successful stories in the world for their program to use condoms which dramatically reduced HIV spread. The risk from sexworkers at Entertainment Places of Bangkok and Pattaya seem remote. But upcountry there is a huge HIV problem - but its not where most tourists will ever go, especially to local Thai brothels that few tourists ever see.

For the tourist the risk of HIV is extremely low. In Entertainment Places, condom use is virtually 100%. But Thai men are very upset having to wear condoms which is part of the problem in the local Thai brothels...where most tourist never find. And most HIV in Thailand is related to drug use or anal sex, especially in the brothels in the North Country "drug triangle" area where in local Thai brothels condoms often not used and have addition drug needle sharing risk, other STD's which make HIV much easier to transfer etc.

December 2002 UN Fact Sheet only mentions Thailand briefly vs. other countries where the risk is much higher. The reports notes about Thailand:
"In Thailand, meanwhile, recent modelling sug-gests that the main modes of transmission have been changing. Whereas most HIV transmission in the 1990s occurred through commercial sex, half of the new HIV infections now appear to be occurring among the wives and sexual partners of men who were infected several years ago. There are also indications that unsafe sexual behaviour is on the increase among young Thais. Source:

12/27/02 Report on Children shows North Thailand (in the drug triangle will all the local brothels where Thai's typically don't use condoms) bear the brunt of the HIV concern in Thailand:
HIV/AIDS and Thailand’s children
Thailand has been badly hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. At the end of 2001, UNAIDS estimated that some 650,000 people, 1.8 per cent of the adult population, were living with HIV/AIDS – one of the highest rates outside sub-Saharan Africa. The northern region has so far borne the brunt of Thailand’s AIDS epidemic. Chiang Rai Province, known as one of the most beautiful regions in the country, is among the hardest hit. Its 1.25 million residents constitute just 2 per cent of the country’s population but account for 10 per cent of its AIDS cases.

Thailand: A Success Story
The Global HIV Pandemic: Lessons from the Past January 2001
Source: John Hopkins
Perhaps the greatest success story in limiting the spread of HIV belongs to Thailand. After several years of rising HIV prevalence rates among commercial sex workers and young men, the government of Thailand implemented an HIV educational program promoting 100% condom use that effectively slowed the spread of HIV and led to a dramatic decline in sexually transmitted diseases among young adults. This program still remains a shining light to other countries in Asia, where HIV continues to spread. Asia now represents the region with the second greatest numbers of HIV-infected individuals. China and India, which together account for 36% of the world's population, are witnessing rapid growth in HIV infections, with estimates of 5 to 6 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Other countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam have also witnessed alarming increases in HIV infection.

2000 UNAIDS/WHO Epidemiological Fact Sheet
Assessment of epidemiological situation – Thailand - Just Higlights
In Bangkok, HIV prevalence among sex workers tested (both direct and indirect combined) has ranged from 7 to 18 percent between 1990 and 1996. Since 1994, HIV prevalence in this group has declined slightly from 13 percent to 7 percent in 1997. Outside of Bangkok, HIV prevalence among sex workers tested (both direct and indirect) increased from 5 percent to 20 percent. HIV prevalence rates are highest in the northern provinces ranging from 16 to 57 percent among direct sex workers.

In Bangkok, in late 1987, one percent of IV drug users were HIV positive. By the end of 1988, that rate had increased to 30 percent. Since 1988, HIV prevalence among IV drug users tested has remained between 20 and 45 percent both in and outside of Bangkok.

Among antenatal clinic attendees tested in Bangkok, HIV prevalence increased from 0.2 percent in 1990 to 2 percent in 1994. In 1997, 1 percent of antenatal clinic women tested were HIV positive. Outside of Bangkok, HIV prevalence among antenatal clinic attendees increased from no infection detected in 1990 to two percent in 1994. HIV prevalence among this group has reached as high as 10 percent in provinces in the north.
HIV/AIDS: Slow rate of infection seen in 2000 But slight increase among prostitutes
Bangkok Post - February 9, 2001

Dave notes: Prostitutes are those working in Thai brothels which few non Thai's ever see, not those working in Entertainment Establishments being offered "special services (sex) which is not prostitution.

Thailand's HIV infection rate slowed last year, but the spread of the deadly disease among prostitutes increased slightly, the Public Health Ministry said.

Despite the welcomed news that efforts to halt the spread of HIV appear to be successful, health experts warned the figures may be just a statistical blip.

They said it was essential the successful awareness and prevention programmes were maintained.

The ministry said random tests performed on blood donors, pregnant women and men attending sexually-transmitted disease clinics last year found that incidence rates had fallen.

Among drug addicts, 47.2% were infected compared to 50.8% the year before, and men being treated for venereal disease reported a 5.9% incidence compared to 9.1% previously.

In the group of brothel-based prostitutes, however, infection rates rose to 18.5% from 16%.

Dave again: brothel-based prostitutes are only the brothels, which few foreigners ever see and most are in the North Country.
2/01 [Infections down]
Aids continues to slow its progress in Thailand -- except for prostitutes in brothels. The latest figures from the healthy ministry cover the January-June period of last year. They show 12,389 new cases in hospitals around the country -- compared with 22,267 in 1999. The main fears are that everyone will think the epidemic has ended, or that the figures are simply a statistical blip.
A Thai on a private list said:
I worked at a major medical center in Chiang Mai for a month in February last year. Now, I thought I'd come across all kinds of AIDS cases as I was in the North and well, in a hospital!! You know, the whole month I was there I treated ONE AIDS patient. Now, I'm not denying there are AIDS cases and HIV, but I believe WHO and the CDC have been guilty time and time again of overinflating AIDS cases.

Yes indeed they said that the HIV rate was high, like 30%, in the *northern provinces* among sex workers. In other words the girls who fuck a conga line of unprotected, probably-std-infected Thai men.


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