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More teenaged girls getting HIV infection

The Health Ministry has expressed concern over the increasing incidence of HIV infections among young girls between 15 -19 years old who could access porn magazines and media which publish articles and pictures on real sexual experiences, erotic short stories and novels.

Deputy of Public Health Minister, Vicharn Meenchaiyanant said the recent ministry's survey had found that about 48 per cent of young girls have watched pornographic videos while 35 per cent have visited porn sites on the Internet.

The Public Health found that only 39 per cent of young girls use condom regularly. The number of HIV infections in young women is two-fold higher than that of young men.

Since the first case of HIV/AIDS was reported in Thailand in 1984, the incidence of HIV infections has increased steadily. So far 1,115,415 adults have been infected. Of this number 585,830 have died of AIDS while 532,522 adults are suffering from HIV or AIDS. New infections affected 12,787 adults and children this year.

The World Health Organisation last year found that over 30.8 million people around the world have been infected with HIV while 2.1 million have died during the past year. About 2.5 million new cases of HIV have been reported.

The health agency estimated that about 6,800 people per day or five people per minute would be infected with HIV. Of this total, 40 per cent are teenagers aged 15-24 years old.

Africa is the most infected area with 25 million people living with HIV while South Asia and South East Asia are the second most affected area with 8 million HIV patients.

In a bid to combat HIV, the health ministry has collaborated with relevant agencies to launch a massive campaign against HIV among teenagers.

The campaign, aimed at raising awareness among teenagers about safe sex and the use of condoms, will include mini concerts, parades and exhibitions to draw attention of the public to the dangers of HIV.

The campaign will start on December 1 to commemorate World AIDS Day.

The theme highlights both the political leadership needed to fulfil commitments that have been made in response to HIV/AIDS - particularly the promise of universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support - and to celebrate the leadership that has been witnessed at all levels of society.

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