1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Response to AIDS at Individual, Household and Community Levels in Thailand (Draft)

Thailand’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, globally acknowledged for confronting the basic issues, nonetheless was slow out of the starting gate and remains uneven. Not until several years after the epidemic emerged did the government undertake a national programme, including the establishment of National HIV Sentinel Surveillance surveys, to monitor the progress of the epidemic and guide subsequent government policy and actions.

While the national response to the epidemic is well documented, less is known about how individuals, families and communities cope with and respond to the challenges presented by HIV/AIDS, particularly outside the much-studied Northern Region. This paper attempts to redress this gap.

It begins by briefly reviewing the influence of the ongoing social transformation in relation to the AIDS epidemic in Thailand. Subsequently, it explores the situation of AIDS by region and argues that limited information is known about Thai responses to HIV/AIDS outside the Upper North region, where the epidemic is severest. The paper next explores changes in behaviour undertaken by individuals to prevent infection, how people living HIV/AIDS respond after being infected, and addresses how families adjust to infection of family member(s) with HIV/AIDS. The concluding section describes how communities react and respond to people living with HIV/AIDS, and how the communities utilize resources to support these people.

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