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The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has a 'latent' HIV epidemic, with rates of HIV estimated at just 0.2 per cent of the total population aged between 15-49 years of age. However, because of its location in the heart of the Mekong, surrounded by countries with high rates of HIV in concentrated epidemics, Lao PDR is believed to be "in danger of an expanding epidemic". More than 50 per cent of the population of Lao PDR is below the age of 20 and adolescents and young people engaged in highrisk behaviour for HIV are an emerging priority across Asia and the Pacific. …
This study (one of the few of its kind conducted in Laos) provides a wealth of information on the sexual behaviour of young men, which could guide future HIV prevention programs. While the survey only looks at the attitudes and activities of men living and working in Vientiane, it nonetheless illuminates both important similarities and differences in Lao male behaviour compared to men in other countries, including countries in the immediate region.
This report is focused on illustrating the interface between culture, gender and reproductive health issues addressed by UNFPA. It draws attention to challenges and opportunities in terms of both issues and strategies that have implications for programming interventions.