Correlates of HIV-1 Seropositivity Among Young Men in Thailand

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Geographic and demographic correlates of risk for HIV-1 seropositivity were studied in 120,216 young men selected by lottery for service in the Royal Thai Army (RTA). The study population consisted of men selected between November 1991 and May 1993. Venous blood was collected at induction, and a brief demographic questionnaire was administered. HIV-1 seropositivity was established by Western blot confirmation of duplicate reactive ELISAs. Geographic variables provided the strongest correlate of risk, clearly distinguishing residents of the upper north, Bangkok, and the central region from the northeast. Overall 12.2% of men from the upper north were HIV-positive. Men who had lived in rural areas were at less risk in most regions of the country, but had equal risk in the upper north. Unmarried men and those with less education were at higher risk throughout the country. These data provide valuable information on the prevalence of HIV infection in one segment of the general population. Continued surveillance of this group will facilitate evaluation of Thailand's response to the epidemic.

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