Thailand faces new HIV/Aids crisis

Thailand faces new HIV/Aids crisis

The man known as "Mr Condom" says Thailand faces new HIV/Aids crisis: 9,470 new cases a year, 80% from unsafe sex.

"The government has fallen asleep at the wheel," on raising HIV/Aids awareness, according to Mechai Viravaidya. The man known as "Mr Condom" says Thailand faces a new crisis from the infection. Photo by Thiti Wannamontha.



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Breakingnews

Mechai warns of new HIV/Aids crisis

21/12/2012

Thailand’s most prominent HIV/Aids awareness campaigner has warned that the kingdom faces a new crisis from the deadly human immunodeficiency virus.

The United Nations has credited Mechai Viravaidya’s campaign with bringing about a 90% decline in new HIV infections over 12 years from 1991, which the World Bank estimated saved 7.7 million lives.

But now the man known as “Mr Condom” insists that a new awareness campaign is needed to stop the spread of the virus – and has called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to spearhead it.

"The Prime Minister could stand up and declare there is again a problem that is sending Thais to early graves,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The campaign should involve everyone, from religious institutions to schools and businesses.

The HIV/Aids infection rate is rising in Thailand, with 9,470 new cases a year being reported, 80% from unsafe sex.

About 62% of the 464,414 people known to be infected with the virus in the country are men, according to the Ministry of Health.

"I innocently thought I had done the job… but the government has fallen asleep at the wheel. There is a total indifference to a war we have to fight,” Mechai said.

With a new campaign we can prevent a lot of early deaths.

More than a million Thais have been infected with HIV since the first case was reported in the kingdom in 1984.

Mechai says that today an estimated 250,000 Thais are unaware they are HIV positive.

"They are not going for testing and they are having sex around the place,” said the 73-year-old former politician.

Getting them to be tested should be a priority.

Mechai believes that a Ministry of Health campaign with the slogan “zero new infections” has had little impact and claims that young Thais are not practising safe sex because they are unaware of the risk of HIV infection.

"Nobody in government is pushing this. It's pathetic. If you stopped advertising Coca-Cola people would stop drinking it. We have to do the same … talk condoms, condoms and condoms,” he said.

We now have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the world. We used to have one of the lowest.

Young Thais don't realise how easy it is to become infected with HIV. They allow their erections to rule their lives rather than their brains.

Sydney Morning Herald

(Source: Bangkok Post, Breakingnews, Mechai warns of new HIV/Aids crisis, 21/12/2012, link


AIDS Prevention Vocabulary

HIV/Aids - "a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). During the initial infection a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses it interferes more and more with the immune system, making people much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections, and tumors that do not usually affect people with working immune systems. HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and even oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions and hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding" (See Wikipedia)

human immunodeficiency virus - Same as "HIV"

Mechai Viravaidya - "a former politician and activist in Thailand who has popularized condoms, family planning and AIDS awareness in that country. Since the 1970s, Mechai has been affectionately known as "Mr. Condom" in Thailand" (See Wikipedia)

safe sex - protected sex, using a condom during sex to protect against AIDS and other STDs (See Wikipedia)
unsafe sex - unprotected sex, sex that is not safe, sex without a condom
condom - ถุงยางอนามัย (See Wikipedia)

STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease, a disease that a person can get from unsafe sex
80% of new HIV cases are from unsafe sex

AIDS testing - medical tests to see if a person has the HIV virus (the virus that causes AIDS), in their blood, saliva, or urine (See Wikipedia)
HIV positive - when a person has the HIV virus as shown by an AIDS test
positive - without any doubt แน่ใจ

crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์  วิกฤต
HIV/Aids crisis
Mechai warns of new HIV/Aids crisis

faces a new crisis
warned that the kingdom faces a new crisis from the deadly human immunodeficiency virus

campaign - a series of actions intended to produce political or social change การรณรงค์, การกระทำการหรือวางแผนเพื่อให้บรรลุตามเป้าหมาย
campaigner - a person who takes part in organized activities which are intended to change something in society ผู้ต่อสู้,ผู้รณรงค์,ผู้โฆษณาเผยแพร่

awareness - the state of knowing about something การรับรู้, การทราบ
awareness campaign
awareness campaigner
HIV/Aids awareness campaigner

prominent - important and well known สำคัญ, มีชื่อเสียง, เด่น
most prominent

Thailand’s most prominent HIV/Aids awareness campaigner

credit - praise someone for something good they did or accomplished
The United Nations has credited Mechai Viravaidya’s campaign with bringing about a 90% decline in new HIV infections over 12 years from 1991, which the World Bank estimated saved 7.7 million lives.

spread - to gradually affect or cover a larger area; to reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people แพร่หลาย, แพร่กระจาย แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว
the spread of the virus
But now the man known as “Mr Condom” insists that a new awareness campaign is needed to stop the spread of the virus

spearhead - to lead an organized activity (or effort to achieve some goals)
called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to spearhead the new awareness campaign

declare - say something officially
the Prime Minister could stand up and declare there is again a problem that is sending Thais to early graves

institutions - large and important organizations, such as universities or banks สถาบัน
religious institutions - Buddhist temples, Christian churches, Islamic mosques, etc ...
The campaign should involve everyone, from religious institutions to schools and businesses.

infect (verb) - to get a disease from another person; transmitted from someone else ซึ่งติดเชื้อ
infection (noun)

infected with the virus
About 62% of 464,414 people known to be infected with the virus in the country are men, according to the Ministry of Health.

rate - อัตรา
infection rate
The HIV/Aids infection rate is rising in Thailand

fallen asleep at the wheel
- not in control of the situation anymore (like a person who falls asleep when driving)
the government has fallen asleep at the wheel

indifference - lack of interest or sympathy ความไม่แยแส ความเพิกเฉย
there is total indifference to ...

innocently - without experience or knowing enough about the situation ...
I innocently thought...

"I innocently thought I had done the job… but the government has fallen asleep at the wheel. There is a total indifference to a war we have to fight,” Mechai said.

unaware - do not not about something; not understanding or realising something ซึ่งไม่รู้ตัวมาก่อน
unaware they are HIV positive

estimated -
what the amount is believed to be (by guessing and using available information, not exact)
an estimated 250,000 Thais are unaware they are HIV positive

priority
- something important that must be done first สี่งที่สำคัญเป็นลำดับแรก
getting them to be tested should be a priority

impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
has had little impact

slogan - a short easily remembered phrase, especially one used to advertise an idea or a product สโลแกน
Mechai believes that a Ministry of Health campaign with the slogan “zero new infections” has had little impact

risk - a danger, the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
the risk of HIV infection
unaware of the risk of HIV infection
young Thais are not practising safe sex because they are unaware of the risk of HIV infection.

pathetic -  น่าเศร้า, น่าเวทนา, น่าสงสาร, น่าอนาถ

pushing - trying hard to make something happen
"Nobody in government is pushing this. It's pathetic.

pregnancy - การตั้งท้อง, การตั้งครรภ์, การมีครรภ์
teenage pregnancies
We now have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the world. We used to have one of the lowest.

realise - to understand and know about ตระหนัก รู้
Young Thais don't realise how easy it is to become infected with HIV

erection - when a man's penis stands up straight and hard การตั้งตรง (โดยเฉพาะอวัยวะเพศชาย)

rule - control
rule their lives - control their lives

they allow their erections to rule their lives rather than their brains

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