Published: Friday 15 December 2000

Thailand has sharply reduced its spending on Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome ( aids ) prevention. This could have drastic effects on the country, which until now had achieved success in controlling the spread of the aids virus, warn experts.

Spending on aids in 1999 was just us $37.9 million as compared to us $86 million spent in 1996, reports a World Bank study. The study further revealed that half of the present adult population suffering from aids includes women infected by their husbands.

The number of incidences of pregnant women suffering from aids is also on the rise. Yet the prevention budget, including distribution of free condoms to commercial sex workers, has dropped by half as compared to the previous years. "The shift is a severe mistake. We must not let our guard down on prevention," said Mechai Viravaidya, a member of the country's Parliament. In the early 1990s, after a steep rise in the number of aids patients, Thailand had launched a campaign against the disease.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.