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17 Aug 2017

Deputy Bangkok Governor Blames HIV on TV

Thaweesak Lertprapan says young men are becoming infected with HIV by imitating gay characters on TV.

A deputy Bangkok governor Thaweesak Lertprapan came under fire from AIDS charities and LGBT activists last week after he suggested HIV infections in young men were rising because they were imitating gay television characters.

Thaweesak made the unsupported comments on Tuesday at a government conference on AIDS protection and treatment at City Hall as he was discussing infections among men under 25 years of age.

“The risk to HIV is increasing among gay men more than other groups because of men imitating behaviour from TV soap operas and social media. This has made being gay fashionable and hastened the coming-out process among youths,” he said at the event.

HIV infections in under 25s has been falling for the last decade, according to UNAIDS.

Thaweesak reiterated his comments in an interview with local media on Thursday.

“You see, gay characters shown on TV and in the media hasten the youth’s coming-out process,” he said. “Their behavior is viewed as fashionable and influences the youths to imitate it.”

His remarks prompted condemnation from LGBT groups in Thailand.

“I’d recommend the deputy governor study this more before making assumptions,” researcher-activist Paisarn Likhitpreechakul wrote in a message according to Khaosod daily. “This kind of negative mentality is what makes the risk of contracting HIV high.”

“I don’t agree with him. I think it’s an opinion which doesn’t have any supporting study or research to support” Thaweesak’s characterization of gay men’s sexual behavior, Nimit Tienudom, director of the AIDS Access Foundation, said.

Reader's Comments

1. 2017-08-20 05:46  

My Dear,
How are you and your family?
Please dear contact me on email.
2. 2017-08-20 23:50  
If governments were not full of ignorant opinionated fools the world would be a better place for all of us. As an American I am made painfully aware of that every day.
3. 2017-08-23 15:19  
I always thought tv adverts were a waste of time.

4. 2017-08-26 01:37  
What a waste of time reporting such a stupid man!
is time to upgrade more sensible stories here?

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