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Nearly 20% of gay men in Bangkok are HIV-positive

Nearly 20% of gay men in Bangkok are HIV-positive

Researchers report in the April 1 edition of the journal AIDS that 17% of a sample of gay and bisexual men in Bangkok have been shown to be HIV-positive, reports. Although Thailand is widely praised for its efforts to slow the spread of HIV among heterosexuals--particularly female sex workers--by promoting condom use, stigma, and discrimination against gays have led to few HIV prevention outreach efforts for men who have sex with men, say AIDS experts. A total of 1,121 men for the new study were recruited by peer educators and given HIV antibody tests. Of these men, 194--17%--were found to be HIV-positive. About one quarter of the men said they had sex with both men and women, raising fears that HIV may be spreading from the gay males to heterosexual women in the country, the researchers say. They recommend that the importance of condom use be emphasized to men engaging in sex with both male and female partners and that efforts to promote HIV antibody testing be increased for the nation's gay and bisexual men.

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