UNAIDS congratulates the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on integrating HIV services into primary health care to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030
BANGKOK, 19 October 2018—UNAIDS applauds the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) for its new bold strategy, the “BMA ARV Service”, which takes a historic step forward by integrating HIV prevention and treatment services into primary health care, bringing HIV services closer to people. Mr. Taweesak Lertprapan, Deputy Governor of the BMA, jointly with Dr. Marta Ackers, Senior Technical Advisor of the Thailand MOPH – U.S. CDC Collaboration (TUC), Dr. Patchara Benjarattanaporn, UNAIDS Country Director, and Mr. Apiwat Kwangkeo, President of the Thai Network of People living with HIV, launched the BMA ARV Service during a press conference held today at the BMA Hall in Bangkok.
The BMA ARV Service will be implemented through the network of BMA community health facilities and in collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Public Health, to respond to the evolving health needs in the context of strengthening primary health care in achieving Universal Health Coverage in the country. As part of the new programme, 8 BMA health facilities will initiate antiretroviral treatment (ART) to people living with HIV who have been newly diagnosed, while people living with HIV who are already on ART will be referred to 27 BMA health community centers for HIV treatment, support and care. Additionally, 12 BMA public health centers will provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for most at risk population groups and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
BMA has made HIV one of its top health priorities, significantly increasing investment in the HIV response. In 2014, it was one of the 26 cities across the globe which committed themselves to reaching the 90-90-90 targets for ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. Already Bangkok is closing in on the first target, with the percentage of people knowing their HIV status jumping from 66% in 2014 to 85% in 2017. The new BMA strategy will support the rapid expansion of ARV coverage as it is expected to increase access to HIV testing, accelerate ART initiation and improve retention of people living with HIV in the continuum of care. To ensure that no one is left behind, BMA will give non-Thai citizens and undocumented migrants equal access to HIV services.
“BMA is again ahead of the game in the HIV response and can serve as a model to other cities in Thailand and beyond, by integrating HIV services into primary health care and ensuring Universal Health Coverage, leaving no one behind,” said Dr. Patchara Benjarattanaporn, UNAIDS Country Director, at the press conference.
Thailand’s epidemic is concentrated among key populations, and Bangkok’s HIV epidemic is growing particularly fast among men who have sex with men, who account for more than half of new HIV infections in the metropolitan region. A big challenge to the HIV response is ensuring key populations, who often face stigma and discrimination, access the services they need.
“All of us are working to advance the global 90-90-90 targets to end AIDS by 2030. The U.S. CDC through the Division of Global HIV and TB (DGHT) has partnered with the BMA Health and Medical Services Departments. Together, we have initiated and expanded HIV prevention and care and treatment interventions to respond to the HIV epidemic, preventing new HIV infections and improving the quality of life of people living with HIV,” stated Dr. Marta Ackers, Senior Technical Advisor of the Thailand MOPH – U.S. CDC Collaboration (TUC),
Within the new initiative, the BMA will support combination prevention programmes for key populations and will work in partnership with community-led organizations to reach people most at risk. The new strategy will be an entry point to increase the integration of HIV health services with other non-communicable diseases in the context of Universal Health Care.
“Through the strong network of municipal public health centers, we can bring HIV services closer to people. This bold strategy will support BMA to achieve the Fast Track Targets and end AIDS by 2030,” affirmed Mr. Taweesak Lertprapan, Deputy Governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
UNAIDS Thailand | Patchara Benjarattanaporn| tel. +66 2680 4110 | firstname.lastname@example.org
UNAIDS Regional Office | Michela Polesana | tel. +66 9445194092 | email@example.com
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.