2-3 pages. double spaced. times new roman. size 12 font. Find some decent (non-secondary source, e.g. not out of an article) data that reports a sociologi-
cally meaningful rate other than the suicide rate by something (age, country, gender, occupation,
time, sun-exposure, etc.) from your home country. Describe the data you found. You should
evaluate the data (are the data good, is the source reliable, etc.). Define your criteria (e.g.,
define what “good” means). Then, state and defend a theory that explains one aspect of your
data report, e.g., a difference by age groups, a difference over time etc. Be sure that you have a
graph or otherwise represent the finding that you want to discuss in such a way as to facilitate
the reader’s understanding. Max 3 pages, including figures/tables, references. attached is a SAMPLE paper meant to help guide you.
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HIV in Thailand
Thailand has the highest HIV prevalence in South East-Asia with currently 440,000
individuals living with HIV (“Country Factsheets”). Within the country itself, HIV is more pronounced
in certain categories than others. The following paragraphs will outline why differences in HIV
prevalence occur amongst different social categories (sex workers, transsexuals and PWID). All the
figures are all expressed as a unit as a percentage of the population of those living with HIV.
Out of the 147,000 sex workers, the HIV prevalence rate for male sex workers is 12% while
the rate for women is 1% (“Thailand Ending AIDS”). This large difference is due to the lack of
regulation of sex which occurs amongst men. Even though there have been laws established to
prevent discrimination against sex workers, the topic is still stigmatized and hence homophobia
remains prevalent in Thai society. Consequently, those who are diagnosed with HIV are reluctant to
seek treatment. Moreover, male sex workers are more likely to catch HIV because they engage in sex
with other men (MSM). Additionally, the issue is further aggravated as differences are also apparent
between different geographical locations. Around 50% of sex workers in Bangkok reported to
understand HIV while this figure is down to 31% in Chiang Mai (“Thailand Ending AIDS”). Therefore,
access to treatment and information remains challenging especially for these men, who are more
prone to catching HIV than any other social group.
Another social category to consider are the 62,800 officially registered transgender people in
Thailand of which 12.7% are affected, (‘Country Factsheets”). This figure has been stable over time
since treatment and prevention amongst transsexuals is difficult. Similar to homosexuals,
transsexuals in Thailand are very prone to face discrimination and hence many are hesitant to seek
treatment. Additionally, transsexuals need to continuously inject hormones for gender enhancement
and this has a negative impact on the ART techniques that is used to control HIV patients
(Transgender People”). Therefore the hormones do not work well with the ART treatments and
hence transsexuals remained uncured. This figure is similar to MSM’s HIV prevalence since many
transsexuals’ practices are similar to MSM, which generates conditions conducive to catching HIV.
Compared to both the social categories above, people who inject drugs (PWID) face the
highest level of HIV prevalence of 19% (“Country Factsheets”). The reasonable cause behind such a
high figure compared to others, is the strict unapologetic atmosphere that the country has towards
drug users. Detention camps where human abuse is likely to take place operates in abusing drug
users rather than focusing on rehabilitation methods. Consequently, it is harder for drug users to
seek help or receive new syringes because there is an underlying assumption that it will be used for
drugs. Therefore, drug users have no choice but to share needles with each other due to the lack of
availability of new needles.
In conclusion, PWID suffers from the highest HIV prevalence, followed by transsexuals and
MSM. However, when considering new HIV infections, 50% of all new HIV infections occur between
MSM, 24% occur from heterosexual sex, 12 % occur from IV drug use (Avert). In this scenario, MSM
has the highest HIV infection rate due to their sexual practice which makes them more prone to
catch the disease more than any other social groups. However, the figures for each social category
themselves is questionable. It could be that male sex workers have a higher HIV prevalence rate than
women sex workers because women receive more treatment than men (“Country Factsheets”).
Moreover, it was challenging to gather data on separate categories within PWID so there lacks clarity
on the extent of the number of transsexuals who overlap in this data. Additionally, the 440,000
individuals that have HIV in the country does not include those who did not report themselves.
Because of the unwelcoming social and legal environment, many people suffer from HIV and lack the
necessary means to get tested and therefore do not receive treatment. Overall, people living with
HIV are condescended upon, however some groups are more discriminated than others. For
example, those who are transsexuals or engage in homosexuality are more prone to receive negative
reactions from the public. Therefore the possibility of underreporting to occur is very high in this
Most importantly, despite the possible inaccuracies and errors in the data, it will not impact
the evaluation of the data. Even though the numbers may be slightly different, the underlying theory
will remain the same. For example, MSM will still remain the fastest method of spreading HIV
compared to other social categories and PWID will still remain the largest social group with the
highest HIV prevalence. Partially, it is the social structure which influences these groups to
continuously suffer from high HIV rates since society still considers this topic taboo and hence
seeking medical assistance is difficult. Laws and regulations aimed to protect citizens from
discrimination is not thoroughly enforced. Another part has to do with the biological functions of the
human body itself. The aforementioned categories engage in habits and practices where biologically,
the human body is more susceptible to receiving HIV. Hence, the errors within the data is not
significant enough to alter the overall conclusion. Rather, the social structure and human biology
helps us understand the mechanisms which keep these figures in check.
HIV Prevalence in Thailand amogst differnt Social
New HIV Infections Amongst Different Social Groups
“Country Factsheets Thailand 2017.” Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS , 2017.
“Thailand Ending AIDS.” National AIDS Management Center , 2015.
“Transgender People Are at High Risk for HIV, but Too Little Is Known about Prevention and
Treatment for This Population.” HIV & AIDS Information :: Introduction to Pharmacokinetics,
NAM Publication , 2016, www.aidsmap.com/Transgender-people-are-at-high-risk-for-HIVbut-too-little-is-known-about-prevention-and-treatment-for-thispopulation/page/3042613/.
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