UNAids praises Thailand for wiping out mother-to-child HIV infections


UNAids will be holding its board meeting in Chiang Mai on Tuesday in a symbolic gesture to congratulate Thailand for its success in reducing HIV transmissions and eliminating mother-to-child infections.

This is the first time in 14 years that the UNAids Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) will be meeting outside Geneva.

The meeting will run from Tuesday to Friday, deputy government spokesperson Trisulee Trisaranakul said.

“Though this is the first UNAids PCB meeting outside Geneva in 14 years, it will be the second time it is meeting in Chiang Mai,” she said, adding that the first time UNAids PCB met in Chiang Mai was in 2008.

The 2008 meeting was chaired by then-public health minister Chavarat Charnvirakul, and the one this year will be chaired by incumbent Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Trisulee said UNAids had released a statement on November 11 praising Thailand’s global leadership in tackling Aids. She said Thailand was also commended for becoming a good example for other nations to follow.

She added that the UN agency has also voiced confidence that the Chiang Mai meeting will encourage other Asia-Pacific nations to fulfil their pledges to the UN Aids programme.

Taoufik Bakkali, director of the UNAids regional support team for Asia Pacific, said on Sunday that the meeting in Thailand will motivate the fulfilment of commitments made by the community of nations in 2021.

“We are grateful to Thailand for its global Aids response leadership. The country has taken significant strides toward ending its HIV epidemic and is setting an example to the world of translating political will into action,” Bakkali said.

UNAids praises Thailand for wiping out mother-to-child HIV infections Thailand has made considerable progress in the battle against Aids, especially in providing life-saving tests and treatment to people living with HIV.

Thailand was the first country in the region to have been validated in 2016 for eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmissions.

The country has also joined the Global Partnership to Eliminate all Forms of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination, the UNAids said.

Since 2010, Aids-related deaths in Thailand have dropped by 65% and new infections by 58%. Last year, some 94% of people living with HIV in Thailand were aware of their status, 91% of those diagnosed were being treated and 97% of them achieved viral suppression.

Trisulee said UNAids also congratulated Thailand for integrating HIV treatment into its universal healthcare system, thus making it possible to control HIV transmission sustainably.

“Knowledge of Thailand’s success will be shared with the 22 members of UNAids during the meeting,” Trisulee said.