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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

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January 07, 2007


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> a virus that’s infectious enough
> to produce an 85% positive rate in
> ‘female sex workers’ in Phuket
> would spill over into the general
> population in a nanosecond.

As several nanoseconds have passed since you posted this, chances are that the 85% number is not correct. Care to name (or link) the source? Or did you (or the original article/source) miss a decimal dot somewhere?

Claus Jensen

Mr. Chanchao, Im quite sure the number's risen in the meantime (if such a thing is conceivable). The article I'm basing this on originally appeared in the Phuket Gazette Online. I haven't been able to link it since it's apparently been taken down. [Note: A copy is now linked here].

I don't guarantee its accuracy in every detail either; that's not really the point. I chose it as a typical example of the Thai HIV phenomenon.

The 80%+ is stated 3 times, most prominently here:

"Most of the 100 or so people who used the service were female sex workers, some 80% to 90% of whom tested positive for HIV, she said.

About 20% tested positive for other STDs, including gonorrhea, she added."

Instead of the cumbersome "some 80% to 90%" I've chosen to write (ca.) 85%.

Quite frankly, I don't think 8.5 % would have been considered 'worrying' in a country that routinely reports 30%-50% or more positive rate in risk groups.

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