The number of
AIDS-related deaths in Thailand dropped nearly 80% in 2005
over 2004 levels, mostly due to the launch of low-cost
antiretroviral treatment programs across the country
during the past year, Agence France-Presse reports.
Thai health officials say 1,478 people died of AIDS
complications in 2005, down from 6,593 in 2004.
There were an
estimated 18,000 new HIV infections in Thailand in 2005,
according to the Thai Disease Control Department. Health
officials hope to cut that figure by 10% in 2006 with
expanded HIV educational programs and widespread
condom distribution, particularly in tourist centers. Most
of the new HIV infections reported in 2005 occurred among
gay men and teenagers, according to health officials.