Thailand has been quite successful at improving its economy for the last three decades. It now has an abundant workforce and the standard of living is greatly improved – 11 percent of the population lives in poverty, down from 57 percent in 1962.
But in spite of its economic strengths and a move toward universal health care, Thailand posts significant HIV transmission rates among at-risk populations, notably injecting drug users and men who have sex with men.
PSI began Thailand operations to focus on HIV prevention and opened the O-Zone Drop-In Center to promote healthier behaviors for injection drug users in Chiang Mai in 2003. The O-Zone program has measurably improved healthy behaviors among IDUs. Those who were significantly exposed to the program reduced needle sharing from 18.58 percent in 2004 to 8.8 percent in 2006 – effectively reducing the risk of the transmission for this group.
Past successes helped PSI/Thailand secure funding from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A five-year (2009-2014) grant is helping fund a nationwide promotion of PSI/Thailand’s injecting drug users and transgender programs.
Thailand reduced HIV incidence in the 1990s with programs that targeted the commercial sex industry. However, risk remains high for Thai IDUs and Transgenders. PSI/Thailand provides HIV prevention products, services and communications for these vulnerable groups through the O-Zone project for IDUs and the Sisters project for Transgenders.
With support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, PSI Thailand, in its role as principal recipient, will support the implementation of outreach activities to IDUs through fifteen drop-in centers around Thailand. These will be managed by O-Zone and project implementing partners. PSI Thailand will also expand activities and services to Transgenders in Pattaya through its Sisters program.
Communications are tailored to promote healthy behaviors to each group. High-quality, affordable or freely-distributed products and services include:
- Water-based lubricants.
- Sterile injecting equipment.
- Voluntary counseling and testing.
- A comprehensive system of referrals for care and treatment.
PSI has a strong focus on measuring results and uses annual tracking surveys to closely monitor HIV risk behaviors among the populations it serves. Tracking surveys found that current and former IDUs and Transgenders use the O-Zone and Sisters Drop-in Centers for social support to maintain healthy behaviors, as well as to access quality health products and services.
- The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- Thailand government
- U.S. Agency for International Development
- United Kingdom Department for International Development
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Thai Ministry of Public Health
- Health Department of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
- Raks Thai Foundation (CARE International)
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This report was created to document innovations, best practices and lessons learned during the the implementation of the CHAMPION-IDU project, a critical component of the national response to HIV among people who inject drugs in Thailand.
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In Thailand, PSI's Sisters program works to increase HIV testing and counseling among transgender women. This case study presents evidence that exposure to the program is associated with increased HIV testing in this population.
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- Assessing the Impact of a HIV Prevention Program Among Transgender People in Thailand Using Coarsened Exact Matching
PSI/Thailand targets transgender people with HIV prevention services through peer outreach and drop-in centers. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of the program on HIV testing and consistent condom use.
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Transgender women are particularly at risk of HIV infection, but little evidence exists on effective HIV prevention strategies with this population. We evaluated whether Sisters, a peer-led program for transgender women, could reduce HIV risks in Pattaya, Thailand. The study used time-location sampling to recruit 308 transgender women in Pattaya into a behavioral survey in 2011. Coarsened exact matching was used to create statistically equivalent groups of program participants and non-participants, based on factors influencing likelihood of program participation.
- 2012 Mid Year Region and Country Dashboards, Asia and Eastern Europe
Mid-year Asia and Eastern Europe region and country impact dashboards for 2012