Thailand eliminates mother-to-child HIV transmission
In 1988, the first HIV-exposed infant in Thailand was born at the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok. Almost thirty years later, the country is celebrating an important record: Thailand is the first Asian country that has eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT).
The result was achieved thanks to institutional commitments and to considerable public investments that allowed the country to successfully implement the four key points of the strategy recommended by the World Health Organization’s (WHO). In particular, it includes: primary HIV prevention in women of childbearing age; prevention of unwanted pregnancies in HIV-infected women; prevention of HIV transmission from an infected woman to her child and provision of appropriate care and support to HIV-infected women and children.
Among the initiatives that led to the success of the program there were also the promotion of the use of condoms, information campaigns on risks of transmission and the easier access to clinical test for pregnant women.
Professor Usa Thisyakorn of Bangkok Chulalongkorn University, author of an important study on the subject, said: “Since children are the future of the country, the way the country deals with problems affecting them indicates if it is able to add value to its future”.