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10 February 2017, 09:48
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Thailand has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Thailand has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV - picture 1

Due to strong political leadership and dramatically increased investment, Thailand has reached a huge success in the fight against HIV in recent years.

According to a study published in Paediatrics and International Child Health reports, the country has become the first Asian country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. MTCT rates were reduced to 1.9% in 2015 compared to 20-30% in 1990s. To make it happen some crucial steps have been made by the Office of the Prime Minister. Several programs were implemented, such as 100% Condom Program, which promotes 100% condom use by male patrons of commercial sex workers, increasing  the rate of prenatal care provision in the country and prevention of unintended pregnancies in women living with HIV.

The government increased investment to provide broad access to prevention and treatment services from US$684,000 in 1988 to US$82 million by 1997. Thanks to legislative changes which have allowed the non-commercial production of generic ART in Thailand, ART medications are available in the country at much lower cost.

"Thailand has achieved WHO elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission targets with early and concerted efforts of all sectors of Thai society. This provided numerous lessons learned in working together to safeguard children. Since children are the country's future, how the country responds to the problems created for them indicates how highly the country values its future," Professors Usa Thisyakorn of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok stated.

Author: Lilia Ten

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