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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 10:48 GMT
Thai students block condom plan
A condom mascot offers leaflets to Thai teenagers
The Thai authorities have worked hard to promote safe sex
Thailand's university student leaders say they have voted against government proposals to put condom machines on campuses.

The Secretary General of the Students Union Network, Vitoon Chomchaipol, said Thailand's Health Ministry plans would encourage casual sex, and were therefore not the best way to fight the problem of Aids.

The proposal comes as the ministry warned on Thursday that young Thais were currently the section of society facing the highest risk of HIV in the country and that rates among this age group were rising due to unsafe sex.

We are concerned that with easy access to condoms, the majority, who are reluctant now, will jump onto the (casual sex) bandwagon
Vitoon Chomchaipol, student union leader
The ministry has already installed thousands of condom dispensers in restaurants, bars and department stores.

"We totally don't agree with the plan. It's not necessary and not suitable as it could mislead students to believe that teachers approve of them having sex," Mr Vitoon told the French news agency AFP.

"Casual sex is a problem involving a small group of students," The Nation newspaper quoted Mr Vitoon as saying.

"We are concerned that with easy access to condoms, the majority, who are reluctant now, will jump onto the bandwagon," he said.

Some 78,000 Thai youth aged 15 to 24 were currently HIV-positive due to unsafe sex practices, the Health Ministry survey found.

One million of Thailand's 63 million people are Aids/HIV positive.

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