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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

NORTH KOREA: N. Korean Leader Grappling with STDs


Korea Times (Seoul), (05.09.2012)  - Monday, May 14, 2012

A booming prostitution trade may be contributing to a growing number of STD cases in North Korea, an online publication monitoring the impoverished country reports. According to News Focus, the regime had directed Pyongyang’s dermatology hospital to expand its capacity to treat STD patients.

The emergence of a market system has created a newly wealthy demographic in North Korea. Recent visitors to the secretive state have noted that restaurants, massage parlors, and bathhouses run or sanctioned by party officials are popping up in Pyongyang. During the famine of the 1990s, some North Koreans turned to sex work as a way to earn cash.

Meanwhile, Radio Free Asia reports that gonorrhea and other conditions could be spreading through sex between female soldiers and government officials. Citing a source working for a US non-governmental group, RFA said more generals have been requesting penicillin to treat the STD.

Last year, reports emerged that health authorities in North Korea were dealing with the spread of syphilis. Local officials were directed to administer examinations and treatments in response.


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