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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. (Advocate.com)