Building Strength on Strength: Lessons from Community Responses to HIV in Northern Thailand

01 Jan 2007
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Foreword

Thailand’s response to HIV is a story of impressive past achievements and new prevention and treatment challenges. Since 1991, yearly new infections have fallen dramatically and millions of lives have been spared. Thailand has demonstrated that a well-funded, politically supported and wisely implemented response can change the course of the HIV epidemic, and that to be successful, this response needs to be sustained over time, particularly when such efforts begin to bear fruit. The purpose of this publication is to share some of Thailand’s experiences and lessons learned in its response to HIV with other developing countries and development partners within the region and beyond.


Thailand is one of the very first countries to have achieved the Sixth Millennium Development Goal target to reverse the spread of HIV by 2015 well in advance of the target date. One of the success factors for Thailand in the fight against the HIV epidemic has been the active involvement of and support for community groups, HIV activists, people living with HIV and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


These groups have pioneered community-based efforts at the local level, and have often initiated activities to further support the public sector’s services and/or to fill any gaps in required services. While this publication focuses on efforts in six northern provinces in Thailand, there are various projects and activities on HIV that have been initiated by community groups in all parts of Thailand, with financial support from different sources, including government, international donors/NGOs, and their own mobilized community resources.


This publication is the product of a joint partnership of the Faculty of Nursing of Chiang Mai University, the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand. The preparation of this publication brought together key eminent experts, government officials, academics, NGOs and people living with or affected by HIV in a long process of consultations and dialogues. The organizing members for this publication wish to express sincere appreciation to the members of the Faculty of Nursing of Chiang Mai University, who guided much of the work for this publication. It is hoped that this publication will be a valuable contribution for Thailand to share lessons learned and best practices, along with analytical views on key elements and options for such successful cases, with policy makers and development partners within and outside Thailand.

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