HIV/AIDS infections increasing in Laos
The number of new Lao HIV-contracted cases annually is trending upwards because at risk groups are having unsafe sex and receiving treatment too late, National Committee to Combat HIV/AIDS reported on November 23. Currently, there are some 11,500 people living with HIV in Laos with another 1,000 new cases each year, NCCA noted at its meeting in the capital. According to the NCCA, risk groups include sex workers, drug users who share syringes, MSM (man who have sex with men) and local and foreign migrants. Minister of Health and NCCA President, Associate Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong told the meeting HIV/AIDS was spreading in the country because the number of migrant workers both local and foreign is increasing and some groups are practicing unsafe sex. He added the rate of HIV/AIDS contraction was still high because these target groups can’t access health services, while prevention campaigns were still lacking in remote areas. At the meeting the NCCA asked government officials and international organisations for more cooperation to combat the problem.