Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha of Thailand appointed as the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for HIV Prevention in Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand, 22 June 2019: Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha of Thailand has been appointed as the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for HIV Prevention in Asia and the Pacific. UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programme and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Shannon Hader presented HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha with the certificate of appointment during a visit to Thailand, noting her commitment to advocating for and expanding HIV prevention and bringing services closer to people.
During the appointment ceremony held at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on Saturday 22nd of June 2019, HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha was Minister, Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of Thailand, Dr. Supakit Siriluck, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MoPH, Dr. Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Director General Department of Disease Control, Mr. Chettaphan Maksamphan, Deputy Director General of International Organization Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sarayuth Uttamangkapong, Director of the Bureau of the AIDS/TB and STIs, Prof. Dr. Praphan Phanuphak, Director of Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Center, Professor Dr. Suttipong Wacharasindhu, Director of Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, M.L.Srali Kitiyakara, and Mr. Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
“I would like to recognize all HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha has done and continues to do to provide HIV prevention services to the most vulnerable populations,” said Ms. Hader, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director.
For almost three decades, HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha has provided leadership in the HIV response. She has been tireless in her efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and support the roll out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV testing innovations.
Since 2016, through the Princess Fund, HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha has supported the Princess PrEP program, the first key populations-led model to deliver PrEP to key populations in Thailand. This effort continues to serve as local evidence to scale up PrEP pilot projects within the national health system and to support the development of PrEP roll-out where community-led health services are a critical component.
In addition to Princess PrEP, she has supported a variety of projects to strengthen the HIV response in the country, including the programme for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, access to ARV, breast-milk substitute bank, home visits to people living with HIV through the Thai Red Cross and HIV-related nutrition projects.
Thailand has set the global standard for how a country can effectively respond to HIV and the lessons learnt can lead the thinking on how to re-focus approaches in the region. In Asia and the Pacific, AIDS is still not over, and the pace of progress is not quickening fast enough. HIV prevention is the biggest challenge. Despite the availability of a widening array of effective HIV prevention tools and scale-up of HIV treatment, new HIV infections have not decreased sufficiently and are falling short of the 2020 Fast-Track prevention targets.
As part of her role as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha will advance political leadership on HIV prevention including PrEP implementation and innovative HIV testing, to fast-track the HIV response in Thailand and in Asia and the Pacific. HRH Princess Soamsawali will also help amplify the leadership role Thailand is playing towards ending AIDS within the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, by showcasing and promoting Thailand’s achievements and encouraging other countries in the region to follow its example.
“It would be a mistake to let up on the response to HIV. HIV prevention deserves to have continued and sustained attention. With the help of HRH Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha’s leadership and Thailand showing the way, Asia and the Pacific could become the first region to achieve the Fast-Track HIV prevention targets,” said UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director.
UNAIDS Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific | Michela Polesana |
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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.