HIV, syphilis rise among gay men in Bangkok

June 28, 2013

Cases of HIV and syphilis among gay men in Bangkok are on the rise, according to data released by US and Thai health authorities on Friday.

Syphilis cases among more than doubled from five percent in 2005 to 12.5 percent in 2011, said the report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Meanwhile, the annual prevalence of HIV also rose "significantly," from 24.5 percent in 2005 to 29.4 percent in 2011 among men who have sex with men (MSM), it said.

"These data show ongoing and increasing epidemics of HIV and infection among MSM in Bangkok," said the report.

The data came from the Silom Community Clinic, located in a central Bangkok hospital and near entertainment venues for gay men.

The clinic was founded in 2005 by a joint collaboration between the Thailand Ministry of Public Health and the US CDC, offering free and confidential tests in an environment "receptive to the health and concerns of the MSM community."

When the team first began collecting data about HIV infections in gay men in Bangkok in 2003, the HIV prevalence was 17 percent.

By 2005 the HIV prevalence in that group had risen to 28 percent, and now it is around 30 percent, said the report.

The data reported by the CDC on Friday was based only on patients who went to the Silom Community Clinic and requested a test for sexually transmitted infection (STI), and may not be representative of the wider gay population in Thailand, the study noted.

Researchers also cautioned that patients who seek out tests and retests tend to engage in higher levels of risky behavior such as anal sex without a condom, and so the findings may be skewed upward.

However, the data underscore "the urgent need for preventive interventions to reduce the spread of HIV and STI in this population," the study said.

Explore further: Higher HIV risk in black gay men linked to partner choice, risk perception

Related Stories

Meningococcal disease ID'd in men who have sex with men

June 18, 2013

(HealthDay)—Following reports of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) among men who have sex with men (MSM), the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has recommended that MSM who have engaged ...

Recommended for you

Videos reveal how HIV spreads in real time

October 2, 2015

How retroviruses like HIV spread in their hosts had been unknown—until a Yale team devised a way to watch it actually happen in a living organism. The elaborate and sometimes surprising steps the virus takes to reach and ...

Researchers find proteins that shut down HIV-1

September 30, 2015

A pair of studies by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Trento in Italy, and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, point to a promising new anti-retroviral strategy for combating ...

An antibody that can attack HIV in new ways

September 11, 2015

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.