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In 2014, there were at least 220,000 adolescents aged 10-19 living with HIV in the region, with major cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong hubs of new infections.The epidemic is growing fastest among young gay and bisexual men, and the rise of mobile dating apps is one of the key driving factors.Thai officials said that Mr Mackay had died at 3pm on Saturday but relatives claim that they were told of his death on Friday.The Foreign Office also confirmed that Mr Mackay had died on Friday.“I was living in Bang Kapi at the time,” he recalls.
Mr Mackay, an underwater research specialist, is believed to have been employed by seismic research company Polarcus, which is based in Dubai.
But some of my friends just meet up for sex.” Nest (right) and friend Jesse look at gay dating apps on a smart phone, in Bangkok, Thailand.
The accessibility of mobile technology and social media has contributed to a rise in new HIV infections among adolescents in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a new UNICEF report.
“These should include sex education in schools, condom distribution, and HIV testing and treatment services designed for adolescents.” In Thailand, for example, UNICEF has worked with the Government to reduce the age of consent for HIV tests to under 18, so that adolescents can access testing services without adult consent, which otherwise might act as a deterrent.
In addition, research on young at-risk communities has helped better understand behaviours that put adolescents at risk of HIV and to advocate for adolescent-specific strategies for HIV prevention.
Adolescents with HIV also face stigma and discrimination, which can discourage them from seeking treatment.