Wednesday, December 01, 2004

International AIDS day

Okay, my next post has nothing to do with entering Vietnamese. Instead, it's about something more important: International AIDS day. (Thanks to Crooked Timber for reminding me.) In the 3rd world, HIV is a heterosexual disease, as can be seen in neighbouring Cambodia:

The finger in Cambodia was pointed at straying husbands spreading AIDS among women and girls, now the most vulnerable group and the theme of this year's AIDS Day.

"I would like to send a message to those unfaithful husbands not to bring AIDS home to kill your innocent wife," Dr Tia Phalla, head of the national AIDS authority, told a meeting in Phnom Penh.

Wonderful. You cheat on your partner, and then you infect them. But then things are a lot worse in sub-Saharan Africa:

The research found that the ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful and use Condoms) strategy - which is a cornerstone of HIV/Aids prevention efforts in many countries - does not protect girls and women.

It has failed because they have not been allowed by men to practise this strategy.

Things seem to be better in Việt Nam, where the numbers is a relative low 85,000 numbers, according to the CNN link above. But that's one figure. According to Utopia Asia:

Vietnam has recorded more than 81,000 HIV-positive cases, according to the Ministry of Health. Health officials, however, believe the number of HIV-infected people is closer to 200,000.

Unlike Africa, where the disease has jumped to the wider community, HIV is still relatively restricted to the sex-worker and/or IV-using demographics. That still makes commercial sex a dodgy proposition here. "Don't do it" is my advice.