Six locals a day get HIV, says City Hall

Six locals a day get HIV, says City Hall

A balloon vendor takes a break, while City Hall issued a stark reminder on Valentine's Day: Bangkok has 77,034 HIV patients, with the number growing by more than 2,000 a year. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
A balloon vendor takes a break, while City Hall issued a stark reminder on Valentine's Day: Bangkok has 77,034 HIV patients, with the number growing by more than 2,000 a year. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

More than 2,000 people in Bangkok are new HIV infected person each year, or around six people a day, according to City Hall's Health Department.

The department said Tuesday that 2,086 people living in the city contract HIV per year while a total of 77,034 HIV patients live in the capital now. In addition, 2,523 people have also been infected with other sexually transmitted diseases or 90.2 out of 100,000 citizens.

The number of patients in this group tended to rise, particularly those with syphilis with the incidence reaching 17.98 patients per 100,000 people. Half of the syphilis patients were among youth.

To raise awareness of the issue among young people on Valentine's Day, the department will host an event, called Safe Love, at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University on Wednesday.

An exhibition describing sexually transmitted diseases including HIV will be presented in the event while a blood test to detect HIV and syphilis will also be offered.

Also Tuesday, Boonruang Trairuangworawat, director-general of the Department of Mental Health, said nearly half of 2,100 students surveyed in Bangkok and its perimeter felt their happiness was defined by having lovers.

They said they would be happier and would not feel lonely if they had partners. The survey was conducted among students aged between 11-19 in Bangkok and its surrounds in the past month.

Dr Boonruang said the happiness of many youngsters was bound by the concept of having lovers which could result in low self-esteem.

When young people faced problems in their relationships, this could affect their study and result in mental illness or teenage pregnancy.

However, spending time with family was the first choice among students who said they enjoyed taking part in family activities.

Asking about their perspective on Valentine's Day, 39.03% of respondents said it was the day on which people express love for each other, 32.89% did not give much importance to the day and 11.78% said adults always go over the top with their activities on this day.

Of the students, 41.5% have had lovers, of which 95.7% have had 1-5 lovers and some had up to 20.

Eight was the youngest age given for having the first "lover" and 17 the oldest, according to the survey.


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