11 December 2015

"Dao" and “Kanompang” from Hormones 3 series and expert speak about online safety



Sananthachat Thanapatpisal and Nichaphat Chaichaipolrat, or “Dao”  and “Kanompang” from Hormones 3: The Final Season series and Assoc. Prof. Jessada Denduangboripant, lecturer at the Faculty of Science of Chulalongkorn University, visited UNICEF to speak with young people online about the benefits social media bring to lives, and how to avoid potential risks. The talk was aired live on YouTube on 10 December 2015.

02 December 2015

Mean streets: helping adolescents at risk of HIV in Chiang Mai

Kum Poon, 14, sells sex on the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand
© UNICEF EAPRO/2015/Andy Brown
Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s main tourist destinations. It also a city in which prostitution is rife. Kum Poon*, 14, sleeps rough in a park near the city’s sex district. He makes some money working for street vendors, but also sells sex to tourists and locals. Adults who exploit Kum Poon for sex violate his rights as a child and put him at grave risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

It wasn’t always this way. In 2001, Kum Poon was born in a hill tribe village outside Chiang Mai. His parents died when he was very young. For a while he was cared for by relatives, but they were too poor to look after him, so they took him to Viengping Children’s Home, where he lived until he was six. It’s a pleasant home on the edge of Chiang Mai, with fresh air, lots of open space and a large, well equipped playground.

“That was the happiest time in my life,” Kum Poon recalls. “I was still young and had no burdens or difficulties in my life. I used to play games, climb trees and draw pictures of flowers. The teachers were kind to me.”

01 December 2015

Location, location: how mobile dating apps are driving an increase in adolescent HIV

Nest (right) and friend Jesse look at gay dating apps on a smart phone
© UNICEF EAPRO/2015/Andy Brown
Nest is a 19-year-old gay teenager living in Bangkok. Like many other adolescents, he uses mobile apps such as Grindr to meet up for dates. “I use apps to meet other guys nearby,” he says. “I don’t like to have sex at the first meeting, I prefer to chat and get to know the person first. But some of my friends just meet up for sex.”

According to a new report, ‘Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response’, the region is facing a ‘hidden epidemic’ of HIV among adolescents. Published by the Asia-Pacific Inter-Agency Task Team for Young Key Populations, including UNICEF, the report shows that although new HIV infections are falling overall, they are rising among at-risk adolescents. There are now at least 210,000 adolescents living with HIV in the region, with big cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong hubs of new infections.