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An indication of the tendency by the media to exaggerate and overestimate Aids HIV in Thailand can be seen from a newspaper report some years ago in Australia where a senior medical professional was perhaps incorrectly quoted or understood as saying Thailand was the 'Aids capital of the world' and attributed increases in the incidence of HIV/Aids in Queensland, Australia to younger Australians paying for sex in Thailand. Richard Kidd, the president of the Queensland Medical Association said: 'I would want to get that message out again about safe sex - I don't know how much young men are aware that Thailand is the HIV capital of the world.' Researchers in Australia are not sure what is causing the spike in HIV Aids that was reported. Thailand seems to have the largest incidence of HIV Aids in Asia although it's recorded figures are similar to Russia, twice that of the USA and three times that of France and Switzerland.

However it is not so clear that the problem originates in Thailand where HIV Aids has been in decline. 'The current figures for Thailand are impressive when you consider the extent of the original problem in 1991,' says James Morris.

In fact Thailand ranks 39th in the world behind such countries as Haiti, Ghana and a host of African countries.

South Africa, the country which hosted the 2010 World Cup had the 4th highest incidence of HIV/Aids in the world.

'I've lived here for nearly twenty years and while I am am aware HIV/Aids like most people, the government has done such a job of it that I'd think Thailand is just as safe as many parts of Europe or even Australia, to my mind at least, but there are guys that come here for fun with the ladies and I'd advise them the same as I would any young lad in Australia and that's don't get involved with unprotected sex with strangers, like use condoms.' A recent survey among TLL users (Thai Love Lines - Thailand's No.

1 dating Site) shows that 53% of men who visit Thailand engage in sexual activity on their trip to Kingdom.

Thailand has an incidence of 1.3% although recent figures in Thailand suggest a lower figure of 1%.

Because of it's reputation for being a sex for sale destination, Thailand has equally unfairly been labeled by some as a country that rates high on the list of HIV Aids infected countries.The country is in the middle of its current campaign but official figures suggest the rate of HIV/Aids infection in the country is still declining.Concerns have been expressed about an increase in sexual activity among younger people in Thailand and unscrupulous sex workers working outside establishments.Thailand is near the top of the table in the region but fares well when compared to infection rates in Africa with a rate of infection similar to Russia and some European countries.'It think it's pretty unfair,' says James Jacobs, an Australian who operates a diving business in Phuket .The incidence of HIV/Aids infection is as high as 30% among the gay community or among men engaging in sex with other men.


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