Mother-to-child HIV cases increasing in Thailand

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Mother-to-child HIV cases increasing in Thailand

HIV infection from mother to child is increasing at a dangerous rate, especially among pregnant women in Bangkok according to a study presented at Bangkok's 12th National Epidemiology Seminar on August 3.

The study reveals that an average of 25% of pregnant mothers infected with the HIV virus also pass it on to their infants. The research was conducted by doctors from hospitals and the AIDS Research Centre in Thailand in conjunction with the Centre of Diseases Control in the US.

The results show that pregnant women had mostly been infected with the HIV Sub-type E of the AIDS virus, which is transmitted sexually. Eighty percent of the pregnant mothers contracted the virus through sexual intercourse with their husbands.

The incidence of HIV infection is highest in the upper northern region, especially among 15 to 19-year-old mothers.

One fifth of all sex workers treated at Bang Rak Hospital were found to be suffering from sexually-transmitted diseases according to the Public Health Ministry's Epidemiology Division. The study was conducted on 8548 sex workers aged between 14 and 53 who had come to Bang Rak Hospital for medical treatment from April 1993-March 1994.