Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV: lessons learned from success in Thailand

Usa Thisyakorn

In 1988, the generalised HIV/AIDS epidemic in Thailand began and in the same year the first HIV-exposed infant in Thailand was born at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok. From the early to mid-1990s, an epidemic wave of HIV-infected women and infants occurred. Heterosexual HIV transmission, as described in the Asian Epidemic Model, was the major mode of spread in Thailand, causing an increasing number of HIV-infected pregnant women. The early and concerted multi-sectoral response of Thai society reduced the prevalence of HIV infection in pregnant women from 2% in the mid-1990s to 0.6% in 2015 and mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) from an estimated 20-40% to 1.9%. Thus, Thailand became the first Asian country to achieve the World Health Organization's (WHO) targets for the elimination of MTCT. In this narrative review, the key historic evolutions of the science and policy of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Thailand that addressed the four prongs of the recommended WHO PMTCT strategy are described, and the lessons learned are discussed.

February 27, 2017
Year of publication
2017
Resource types
Journal and research articles
Tags
Thailand, elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT), EMTCT, PMTCT, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)

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