Civic groups and students paraded through Pattaya to support HIV prevention on World AIDS Day.
Deputy Mayor Poramet Ngampichet opened the Dec. 1 event that featured health exhibits and screenings, quizzes and dance performances, and a stage show comically illustrating the correct way to use condoms.
Traffic on Beach Road and on South Road west of Second Road was closed to traffic for the parade, which kicked off at 5:15 p.m. with 20 groups marching to Pattaya School No. 8, passing out condoms and pamphlets on HIV risks and preventative measures along the way.
The Health Ministry estimates more than 1.2 million Thais are infected with the HIV virus, many with no symptoms. More than 84 percent of them contracted the AIDS virus through sexual relations, the ministry said.
With its large number of sex workers, Pattaya is a major epicenter for HIV and AIDS and the city pays special attention to prevention, especially on World AIDS Day.