International symposium on HIV medicine in Bangkok

More than 500 researchers, health care workers and community groups from all over the world are participating in the 19th Bangkok International Symposium on HIV Medicine 2017 which is taking place in Bangkok, Thailand from 18-20 January.The scientific conference aims to provide information on the latest advances in HIV research, as well as a comprehensive review of the management of HIV infection and efforts to improve access to antiretroviral therapy. It is organized by the HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration group (HIV-NAT),  which is affiliated with The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre in Bangkok, with the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society in Sydney, Australia, and with the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

“The symposium aims to stimulate debate through a series of panel discussions on issues such as access to care and the cost of ARVs in developing countries,” said Professor Emeritus Praphan Phanuphak, Symposium Chairman, Director of HIV-NAT.

The Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, Steve Kraus participated in the opening symposium on ending AIDS in the region. He said, “We need policies that promote, encourage and reward innovation and which allow countries to innovate on things such as PrEP, community-based testing and home-based HIV-testing.”

UNAIDS, USAID’s Health Research Programme, Inform Asia, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, Lao PDR’s Ministry of Health, Chiang Mai University, UNDP, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre’s Tangerine Clinic and Thailand’s National Community Advisory Board organized a panel discussion on Addressing stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings. Panelists discussed adapting global stigma measurement tools to the southeast Asian context and how the data collection found high levels of stigma in health care facilities. Based on the data, Thailand has developed an effective stigma-reduction programme for health workers and Lao PDR is working on a training programme for medical students.

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