It first started in the early 1990’s in
northern Thailand where there was an HIV epidemic. The ministry had asked CDC for
technical expertise so division of HIV and AIDS prevention came to Thailand to help. We began a research program looking at where the epidemic was who it was affecting and ways to intervene. The epidemic has evolved since then and the program has also evolved. More than 60 percent of the incidence of HIV transmission in Thailand is among men who have sex with men. There’s still stigma in Thailand so to make people as comfortable as possible it’s a completely anonymous clinic. We see more than 7000 clients a year for our VCT service, voluntary counseling and testing and that’s been steadily growing each
year, and our other side of the clinic is clinical research trials new forms of pre- exposure prophylaxis or different ways of applying those treatments, how
those treatments are working in communities. We’ve had success in identifying ways that the Ministry of Health could intervene. It’s building
research capacity here in Thailand so that they could perform clinical trials
to and prevent further HIV transmission. What we learn here has direct
application to what we see in the US.