AIDS crisis

AIDS has reached crisis point in Thailand, prompting the government to increase its HIV-prevention budget by L5 million. An NGO study predicts that by 2000, 2.4 million Thais -- out of 53 million -- will be carrying the deadly virus. Apart from the prohibitively-expensive medical care -- each afflicted person will need at least L12,500 for treatment -- Thai tourism, an important income-generator, has taken a beating as well. In a 1991 survey of foreign visitors to Thailand, 4 per cent said the country's anti-AIDS campaign had discouraged them from visiting some parts of the country.

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