Patients identified as having symptomatic HIV infection or AIDS have been reported to the Division of Epidemiology (DOE), in the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) since 1984. In addition, since 1989, the DOE and the Royal Thai Army have conducted annual serosurveillance of HIV in particular populations. Sexual behavior surveys have been conducted annually since 1995.HIV prevalence among direct commercial sex workers (CSWs) peaked in 1994 (33%) but has declined to 22%. Prevalence among male CSWs reached 18% in 1994 but has not changed since. HIV prevalence among blood donors was 1% in 1992, but has declined to 0.5%. HIV prevalence among pregnant women peaked in 1995 (2.3%) and has since declined to 1.5%. HIV prevalence among 21-year-old male conscripts peaked in 1993 (4%), but declined to 1.9% in 1998. Prevalence among IDUs has remained between 30%-40% since the late 1980's. The number of reported AIDS cases was 128,606 by October of 1999, and has increased yearly. Nonetheless this figure is likely unreliable due to significant underreporting. Thailand's surveillance program appears to be effective in increasing public knowledge and information about the epidemic, although it faces growing problems of good data management, interpretation, timely distribution of information, and investigation of abnormal events.
*Address correspondence and reprint requests to Chuleeporn Jiraphongsa, Division of Epidemiology, Ministry of Public Health, Tiwanon Road, Maung District, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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