The U.S.-Thai Partnership against HIV
Thailand has earned international recognition as an HIV success story for its political leadership, self-financing, technical capacity, strong civil society, and innovative research. However, HIV remains a pressing problem in Thailand. Despite reaching control of its HIV epidemic, the country struggles to put those diagnosed with HIV on antiretroviral treatment (ART), retain them on treatment, and achieve viral suppression. There also continue to be high HIV rates in several key population groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs (PWIDs). The government’s ability to address these concerns will be key to its long-term success against HIV.
The U.S. government has partnered with Thailand on its national HIV response for decades through technical assistance, service delivery support, and HIV-related research, and through its contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund). Thailand graduated from bilateral development assistance in the 1990s but HIV technical and research collaboration continued. However, the future of that collaboration is unclear given the debate over U.S. foreign assistance funding in Washington, D.C. In January 2017, the authors traveled to Thailand to understand the U.S. government’s HIV investment, how that investment supports Thailand’s HIV response, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.
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