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Sexual development and education issues in Thailand


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Sexual development and education issues in Thailand – HIV/AIDS, prostitution, trafficking

The Thai government’s HIV/AIDS prevention and control program encourages all sex participants to use condoms. Condom use in sex establishments increased from 14 per cent of sex acts in 1989 to 94 per cent in 1994, resulting in a decrease in all sexually transmitted infections, not just HIV.

After the government launched an AIDS education program in 1990, prostitution rates also began to decline, mostly out of fear of contracting AIDS. At the same time, men also began to use such services less frequently for the same reason.

Thai nongovernmental organizations began to fight the problem by advocating new laws that would not only ban human trafficking and prostitution but also actively seek to hunt down and prosecute criminals.

In 1989, there were more than 80,000 female prostitutes working in 6,095 commercial outlets in Thailand, with an average pay of $10.60 per “session.” However, 5 years later, in 1994, the number of women working in this sphere decreased by 16 thousand (from 80 to 66 thousand). The price for their services rose to $16.30 an hour in appropriate establishments such as massage parlours and restaurants.

The movement of street prostitution into gentlemen’s clubs, massage parlours, bars and even restaurants in the late 1990s and early 2000s represented gentrification and normalization of the sex industry in Thailand. Specialized centres also became more defined and turned into semi-respectable international attractions for sex tourists around the world.

Places like Pattaya (of course), Patong, Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy in Bangkok, and Bangla Road in Phuket are now well known for their entertainment “opportunities. There are also equally lively gay “soi” (streets), usually located next to hot bar and nightlife areas.

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