Published By : 08 Jun 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
The World Health Organization announced today that Thailand has become the first country in Asia to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of diseases such as HIV and syphilis. The antiretroviral (ARV) treatment program in the country has been successfully able in providing treatment and counseling to pregnant women with HIV and now ensures an HIV-free generation. Cuba has already taken the WHO validation of being the world’s first country to have eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission. The elimination of HIV transmission means that the HIV virus is transmitted from mother to the child in such a low level that it no more creates a public health issue or an epidemic.
For a county like Thailand, where nearly 450,000 people are infected with the HIV virus, the possibility of complete eradication of mother-to-child transmission of the virus is a remarkable achievement. This will help ensure that the next generation of the country will be AIDS free.
This, in a way, also demonstrates the fact that a deadly virus like HIV, which has no potential and completely effective treatment yet and has continued to rise at an alarming pace across the globe, can also be defeated.
Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, has called the achievement a major milestone in the world’s efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030.
Thailand struggled with a major HIV epidemic during the 1980s and 90s. In 1991, the country had recorded more than 140,000 new cases of HIV infection. To tackle the spread of the disease, the country has conducted many awareness campaigns and has provided free ARV treatment for the entire population. This brought a major drop in the number of new HIV infections in the country and by 2013, the country had recorded only about 8,100 new HIV infection cases in 2013.
Country’s decision to provide all pregnant women in the country free antenatal care and other medical services for HIV and syphilis infected patients has further helped in further bringing down the threat of new HIV infections in the country, along with a major eradication of mother-to-child transmission.