In Thailand, AIDS continues to be a leading cause of death, despite significant successes against the disease. HIV surged in Thailand in the 1980s, exacerbated by the country’s sex industry.
Now, Thailand’s efforts to combat AIDS — including its “100 Percent Condom Use” program and its creation of low-cost antiretroviral drugs — have helped reduce the prevalence of the disease from 140,000 new cases a year to fewer than 20,000.
However, because the disease now seems less urgent, infected mothers pass on the disease to their children — 15,000 Thai children are infected with AIDS. Stigma surrounding the disease persists.
Worldfocus correspondent Mark Litke travels to Thailand to assess the country’s progress and remaining challenges. He speaks with Mechai Viravaidya, or “Mr. Condom,” who has led the country’s fight against AIDS.
Blogger “Ciee” writes about the history of AIDS in Thailand, including the role of prostitution in spreading the disease, arguing that the country still has a long way to go.
Blogger “Katie Tibone” argues that the successes of Thailand’s fight against AIDS have allowed the government to slip into complacency, and urges local communities to take action.
The “American in Bangkok” blog visits an AIDS hospice in Lopburi, Thailand, that is working to combat social stigma.