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Free Content Challenge and co‐operation: civil society activism for access to HIV treatment in Thailand

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Abstract:

Civil society has been a driving force behind efforts to increase access to treatment in Thailand. A focus on HIV medicines brought civil society and non‐governmental and government actors together to fight for a single cause, creating a platform for joint action on practical issues to improve care for people with HIV/AIDS (PHA) within the public health system. The Thai Network of People with HIV/AIDS, in partnership with other actors, has provided concrete support for patients and for the health system as a whole; its efforts have contributed significantly to the availability of affordable generic medicines, early treatment for opportunistic infections, and an informed and responsible approach towards antiretroviral treatment that is critical to good adherence and treatment success. This change in perception of PHA from ‘passive receiver’ to ‘co‐provider’ of health care has led to improved acceptance and support within the healthcare system. Today, most PHA in Thailand can access treatment, and efforts have shifted to supporting care for excluded populations.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Tailandia; Thailand; Thaïlande; VIH/SIDA; activism; activisme; activismo; antiretrovirals; antirretrovirales; antirétroviraux; otorgamiento de poderes a pacientes; patient empowerment; responsabilisation du patient

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02218.x

Affiliations: 1:  Médecins Sans Frontières, Bangkok, Thailand 2:  AIDS Access Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand 3:  Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Bangkok, Thailand

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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