Thailand gears up to host meeting for the global AIDS Response

By November 7, 2022 Advocacy, Regional

The 51st board meeting of UNAIDS will take place in Chiang Mai, Thailand 13-16 December 2022

Not long after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting taking place in November, Thailand will host global AIDS leaders for the 51st UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board. 

The decision was made with the support of board members comprising member nations, non-governmental organizations and co-sponsors a At the 50th UNAIDS PCB meeting in June, in Geneva, Switzerland which was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul charging the 50th UNAIDS PCB meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2022

APCOM represents Asia and the Pacific as an NGO Delegation which represents civil society on the UNAIDS PCB, the governing body of UNAIDS. UNAIDS was the first UN programme to have civil society formally represented on its governing body.

As a community organisation based in the region, we’re very excited to see Thailand demonstrating its leadership and commitment to the AIDS response nationally, regionally and globally. Having the PCB meeting in Thailand offers the rare chance for delegates to see key population-led health services which Thailand is well known for and being supported domestically by the National Health Security Office.”

Commented APCOM Executive Director, Midnight, he added

“Being on the NGO delegation representing Asia and the Pacific, we also want to highlight challenges such as sustainability of the community and community-led interventions, the need to scale up combination prevention such as PrEP, and we want to see countries in the region endorsing undetectable equals untransmittable.” 

The last time that the board meeting was hosted in Thailand was the 22nd board meeting in 2008. 

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul (center), Dr Taweesap Siraprapasiri. HIV specialist at Department of the Disease Control of Thailand Ministry of Public Health (far left), Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong, Director General, Department of Disease Control, Thailand Ministry of Public Health (far right) with APCOM Executive Director Midnight (center right)

According to the Thai Ministry of Public Health, 2021 data showed that:

  • 520,345 people living with HIV
  • 6,485 new HIV cases,
  • 97% of new infections are caused by unprotected sex, and male to male sex account up to 62%

Thailand will be highlighting its HIV prevention and treatment programs under the nation’s health security scheme, equitable access to integrated preventative and inclusive treatments, and the non-discriminatory and non-labeling approach for HIV patients.

Each year, the NGO Delegation submits a report to the UNAIDS PCB to bring the perspectives of affected communities from the grassroots level to the board. This year, the NGO report will focus on U=U: Undetectable = Untransmittable, which Thailand has demonstrated its leadership at the High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS and the 2021 Political Declaration, as well as highlighted key priorities such as scaling up innovation and expanding coverage of HIV services to all in need under the Universal Health Coverage scheme; and promoting the role of the community – particularly civil society and key populations — in developing, implementing and improving HIV-related policies and services, in order to truly reflect the people’s needs.

Group photo of some of the NGO Delegations at the 50th UNAIDS PCB meeting

Read the Following Reports

49th PCB NGO Report: Left Out: The HIV Community and Societal Enablers in the HIV response

The Response to HIV in Asia and the Pacific

UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2022

See how to get in touch with PCB NGO Delegation below:

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