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Japanese Study on HIV transmission rate to foreigners in Thailand

Why Japanese and Western people are infected with HIV in Thailand

By Yas(Kyo) Taniguchi

1. Thailand is the country in which most foreign people become infected with HIV.

Considering HIV infection through sexual contact, condom usage must almost perfectly prevent the infection. This fact should be well known to all people living in developed countries. It is well known to those who visit Thailand that HIV is widely spread among Thai people.

Nonetheless, quite a lot of foreign people have been infected with HIV in Thailand.

According to a paper titled “Sex, Sun, Sea, and STIs” reported in British Medical Journal dated March of 2004, 69% of UK heterosexual men who have been infected with HIV from 2000 to 2002 were infected in foreign countries. And 22% of them were infected in Thailand. As for women, 24% of them have been infected with HIV in foreign countries.

Why UK people, who have knowledge that condom usage can prevent HIV infection, have been infected with HIV in Thailand?

Condom usage rate among Western people (data of Germany heterosexual men) who visit Thailand for the purpose of sexual contact with Thai ladies is reported in this paper. It says that condom usage rate is only 30 – 40%!! According to this paper, visiting Thailand for the purpose of sexual contact (sex tourism) is very common among Western people. Be that as it may, 30 – 40% of condom usage rate is too low. It is obvious that having sexual contact with Thai sex workers is very dangerous.

Then, why do they have sexual contact with Thai sex workers without a condom in spite of having the right knowledge?

The answer is also reported in this paper. It states that many foreign people who visit Thailand for the purpose of sexual contact with Thai sex workers do NOT regard sex workers as prostitutes but intimate friends.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Redouble Efforts to Reduce Maternal Mortality

"The costs are affordable and the key gap is leadership and effective implementation at every level of the health system"


By Patrick Burnett

CAPE TOWN, Sep 10 (IPS) - For Katriena Anthony, being four months pregnant comes with hazards particular to her living conditions.

The 38-year-old resident of Mandela Square informal settlement in the rural town of Montague, three hours drive from Cape Town, she lives in a two-roomed shack made of wood and zinc sheets.

She has no electricity or running water, and every morning she has to walk long distances to collect wood, while water for drinking and cooking must be carried to her home from a nearby tap in a plastic bucket.

On a morning in late August, she is about to embark on a visit to the state clinic for a check-up on her second pregnancy, and has been lucky enough to get a lift.

She says usually such a visit would involve a one-hour walk there and back, because the ten rand ($1.25) needed for a taxi is not always available in the household budget.

Later on in her pregnancy, if there is an urgent need to get to hospital, she says she can call an ambulance or pay someone with a car 50 rand ($6.25) to take her to hospital; if she doesn't have the money, she'll have to borrow it somewhere.

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Every Minute, Dying for Having Sex

By Julio Godoy

BERLIN, Sep 3 (IPS) Fifteen years after 179 nations agreed to implement a plan of action on sexual health, a woman still dies every minute because of inadequate pregnancy and birth services, according to the World Health Organisation

These alarming figures were under the spotlight at the opening of a forum on sexual and reproductive health and development in Berlin Sep. 2-4. 

More than 400 representatives of non-governmental organisations from 131 countries are attending the forum, to mark the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, September 1994.

"The conference of Cairo of 1994 was a groundbreaking moment in birth and
sexual policy and family planning," Laura Villa Torres from the Mexican Youth
Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights told IPS.  "Until then, demographic policies both at the national and international level were characterised by undemocratic and sometimes even racist rules, such as forced sterilisations in determined ethnic groups."

In the new approach sexuality and family development was seen as a human right, not a matter for authoritarian state-determined objectives.

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AFRICA: Male circumcision slowly taking off



Photo: Mercedes Sayagues/IRIN
Outreach activities are educating households about male circumcision

CAPE TOWN, 23 July 2009 (PlusNews)

- The World Health Organization endorsed male circumcision (MC) as an HIV-prevention measure two years ago, but implementation of large-scale male circumcision programmes has been relatively slow.


Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the need is greatest, have only started drafting policies and strategies to roll out programmes in the past year.

UNAIDS calculated that one HIV infection is averted for every five to 15 male circumcisions, and designed a tool to help countries plan large-scale male circumcision programmes. Catherine Hankins of UNAIDS explained it to delegates at the 5th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town, South Africa.

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When the body is music

(Image courtesy of Crammed Disc and Staff Benda Bilili)

I have been listening for conversations about people with disabilities who are speaking up about their experiences in claiming their own identity on their own terms and not society's.  Empowering organizations, advocacy and rights groups or websites, writers and anyone in between. 

Today, I found a website called The New Internationalist.  I posted a couple things from them already and was happy to add them to my bookmark file.  I was about to leave the site, happy in my previous discoveries, when I stumbled upon something in the 'mixed media' section of the site, that just rocked my world: Staff Benda Bilili. 

There is nothing more beautiful to me than the human spirit, conveyed through music - guided by emotion instead of demographics.  I don't want to buy from the 'record industry' because they found a way to call something 'music' and sell it to me.  I want to feel the industry of a person's life, played out in the space where their body meets the musical instrument or it becomes the instrument.  I don't need to know the language of the song, to hear the soul of the singer. 

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