Govt sets goals to end Aids epidemic

Govt sets goals to end Aids epidemic

The government is aiming to eradicate Thailand's Aids epidemic by 2030, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul on Thursday.

The target was announced as the world geared up to mark World Aids Day, which falls on Dec 1 each year.

According to Department of Disease Control figures, there were 6,500 new HIV infections last year, which translated to about 18 new Aids cases per day. DDC chief Tares Krassanairawiwong said up to 97% of new Aids cases were caused by unprotected sex.

The deputy government spokeswoman said the government would rest its Aids control strategy on three principles -- no infections, no fatalities, and no stereotyping.

The hope is to bring down the number of new HIV infections to about 1,000 per year, and the number of deaths due to Aids-related complications down to 4,000 per year.

We also hope to bring down incidences of discrimination against people living with HIV by 90%, she said.

According to a 2019 survey, about 26.7% of Thais still have a negative attitude toward people living with HIV.

According to Preecha Prempree, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control, the government wants to eliminate stigma relating to Aids and HIV-positive people, while also informing the public about the importance of using protection and regular HIV testing.

This month Thailand will host the 51st Summit of the UNAids Programme Coordinating Board.

As this year's host of the UNAIDS PCB, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stressed the need to educate young people about the need to use protection during sex and discrimination reduction strategies.

To increase accessibility for those affected, Mr Anutin said HIV/Aids treatment is included in the universal coverage scheme.

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