HIV Support Programs in Thailand under the Royal Patronage

AIDS Awareness Ribbon

AIDS Awareness Ribbon: Flickr.com

Thailand has been praised for the success in reducing the number of new diagnosed HIV patients since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981. The hard work of related sections as well as the essential support from the royal family showed the huge amount of HIV infected reduction within the country.

HRH Princess Soamsawali, the niece of HRH Queen Sirikit was the one who showed strong commitment in the area of HIV/AIDS. Numbers of the Red Cross Society Programs on HIV infection were under her patronage, with the main project being launched to reduce AIDS infection from mother to baby.

The project “Reducing AIDS Infection from Mother to New-Born Baby” has been operated with cooperation from the HIV Netherlands and Australia as Thailand Research Collaboration (HIV NAT) to establish an internationally accepted HIV clinic and laboratory guideline as well as to conduct other critical studies on HIV. The program aimed at underprivileged patients to be able to access proper HIV treatments.

The project accomplishment led to the United Nation tribute in 1997, the Director of UNAIDS, Dr Peter Pilot honored Thailand on its successful role in combating affection. The name of Princess Soamsawali was stated in his keynote speech for her commitment and devotion to the project. He announced that the world should take Thai unity as an instance in overcoming this deadly epidemic.

Apart from the “Reducing AIDS Infection from Mother to New-Born Baby” Program, the princess kindly took five other HIV/AIDS programs supervised by the Thai Red Cross Society under her patronage, namely Medical Funding for AIDS patients, Funding for Reducing AIDS infection from Mother to the New-Born Baby, Milk funds for infants under the “Reduce AIDS effects from Mother to the New-Born Baby” Program and the Program of Life Giving to the Parents of AIDS-infected Babies. Schools for HIV infected children have been built to provide educational support for children whose parents have died from the HIV disease.

In addition to the country’s mission to expand access to essential health care to all citizens, Anonymous Clinics, under the Thai Red Cross supervision have been successfully launched to provide anonymous tests for doubtful citizens. Clinics across the country have provided service to over 20,000 people each year. Those who are diagnosed with HIV positive will receive palliative care and emotional support, while those who are found free of disease will get fully educated for their behavioral change.

Her Royal Highness’s grace and prestige shines out upon her arrival at the World AIDS Day event held by the Thai Red Cross every year, with an audience granted to HIV/AIDS patients. Her devotion to the national social welfare bring smiles to patients under her patronage, their deprived children and all the grateful Thai citizens. (NNT)

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