Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - HIV prevalence high among migrant workers in Thailand

HIV prevalence high among migrant workers in Thailand

HIV prevalence high among migrant workers in Thailand

120516_05b

An HIV positive woman receives treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh last November. Photograph: Reuters

Cambodian migrants have the highest rate of HIV among migrant groups in Thailand for reasons that range from the nature of their jobs to cultural attitudes towards condoms, Thai health workers said yesterday.

The results of the recent Integrated Bio Behavioural Survey by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health shows Cambodian migrant workers have an HIV prevalence rate of 2.5 per cent, the highest of any migrant population in the country.

Thailand’s estimated adult prevalence is 1.3 per cent, and Cambodia’s is 0.5 per cent.

Raks Thai Foundation program assistant Domrongphol Sangnanee said the results were “not surprising”.

“Many Cambodian migrant workers work in the fishery sector, and it’s quite difficult to access workers to educate them,” Domrongphol said.

“In the case of Laos [migrants], they don’t work in fisheries, and it’s easy for them to access material on HIV because the languages are similar.”

Another reason was Cambodian migrants’ unfamiliarity with condom usage, he said.

Other factors promoting high rates of HIV among migrant workers in general included language barriers to understanding HIV information and inability to use government health service providers.

Concerns over communicable diseases among Cambodian migrant workers were not high, however, and the Public Health Ministry was more worried about tuberculosis among the large percentage of Burmese workers in Thailand.

Registered migrant workers had to undergo annual health checks and buy health insurance, Domrongphol said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cassandra Yeap at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being

  • EU agrees VN trade deal despite rights concerns

    The EU on Wednesday agreed to a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, a country described as having a “major rights-abusing government”. This comes amid the 28-nation bloc preparing the procedure for a possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade agreement on