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December 18, 2008

Thai Teens May Soon Get HIV Tests Without Parental Consent

The Medical Council of Thailand is urging for a plan to allow teenagers younger than 18 to be tested for HIV at general hospitals without parental consent, the Bangkok Post reports.

According to a poll conducted by Thailand’s Youth Network Against HIV/AIDS, 86 percent of teens in 20 provinces agree with the council’s plan. These results were presented December 17 during a public hearing on the youth testing initiative.

Thailand’s current regulations allow HIV testing for teenagers at public hospitals throughout the country only with parental consent. Private clinics allow testing for teenagers younger than 18, but these facilities are not widely accessible.

The Bangkok Post reports that delegates attending the meeting—which included lawyers, academics and representatives from parental, teacher and youth networks—unanimously agreed with amending testing regulations. They deemed the current policy ineffective because the country’s number of new infections grew from 14,000 in 2007 to 20,000 in 2008.

Assistant Secretary-General of the Medical Council of Thailand, Pairote Boonsirikamchai, said it would take a few months to finalize the new guidelines.

Search: Thailand, Medical Council of Thailand, Youth Network Against HIV/AIDS, testing, teens

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