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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

5/09/2004

Hard to Argue

AIDS victims in 1987: Philippines 135 / Thailand 112

In 1991 the WHO predicted the Philippines would have 80,000 to 90,000 cases and Thailand 60,000 to 80,000 AIDS victims.

Thailand promoted the use of condoms in massive campaigns where Catholic Philippines promoted “Abstinence” and “Be faithful.”

The prognosis of the WHO was wrong for both countries:

1999: Philippines 1,005 / Thailand 755,000 AIDS victims

Source: British Medical Journal, volume 328, April 10th 2004.(no link)
paul cella
Paul Cella does not tend to get his facts wrong. So...what's different about the two cultures? Cella points to the Catholicism of the Philippines. And if the difference were a few percent I would be inclined to agree; but here the numbers are truly staggering.

I suspect, and it is a complete guess, that the underlying culture of the Philippines is sufficiently different from Thailand to allow an abstinence campaign to work. Very possibly because of the centuries of work by the Catholic Church the Philippines is not a stop on the sex tourist list nor is it particularly renown for prostitution.

But the numbers are pretty hard to refute.