How did Thailand eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission?
Last year, Thailand became the first Asian country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. The MTCT rates were reduced from 20-40% in the mid-1990s to 1.9% in 2015 (surpassing the WHO elimination target of <2%).

This was achieved via the 4 pronged World Health Organization (WHO) elimination strategy -

1) Primary prevention of HIV in women of childbearing age
2) Prevention of unintended pregnancies in women living with HIV
3) Prevention of HIV transmission from an HIV-infected woman to her infant and
4) Provision of appropriate treatment, care and support to women and children living with HIV

In Thailand, initiatives to promote condom use, provide information about the risk of transmission and introduce testing for pregnant and post-partum women were successfully implemented. For eg. the 100% Condom Programme, which promotes 100% condom use by male patrons of commercial sex workers, has played a crucial role in preventing HIV infection in women of reproductive age.

The success of such initiatives resulted in part from strong political leadership - the national AIDS policy of Thailand was transferred from the Ministry of Public Health to the Office of the Prime Minister in 1991 - and greatly increased investment, with government spending on the HIV/AIDS programme rising from US$684,000 in 1988 to US$82 million by 1997.

The high rate of antenatal care provision in Thailand is also key. A voluntary HIV test with same-day results is offered at the first clinic visit, followed by re-testing later in pregnancy for HIV-negative women. For HIV-infected pregnant women, antiretroviral therapy (ART) is provided as soon as possible. Such treatment is now available at much lower cost, thanks to legislative changes which have allowed the non-commercial production of generic ART in Thailand. Counselling services at antenatal clinics also promote the use of dual methods of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy in women with HIV.

Source -
Dr. H●●●●●●u V●●●●r and 10 others like this