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Sangkharomya, Suebpong; Sorachai Nitayaphan; Sakol Eiumtrakul; Boonterm Saengdidtha; Kalyanee Torugsa; Narongrid Sirisopana; Khunakorn Kana
HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control: An Experience of the Royal Thai Army in Thailand
UNAIDS - Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, July 2004, 45 pp
92 9173 383 0

UNAIDS Series: Engaging Uniformed Services in the Fight Against AIDS: Case Study 3 (UNAIDS/04.36E)


" Uniformed services, including defence and civil defence forces, are highly susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), mainly because of their work environment, mobility, age and other facilitating factors that expose them to higher risk of HIV/AIDS infection. This has been widely acknowledged, and both the UN Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/ AIDS (UNGASS) have adopted resolutions calling for HIV/AIDS interventions in international and national uniformed services. Through the Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS and Security, UNAIDS has already facilitated partnerships worldwide. During the early stage of the epidemic in Thailand the government recognised the potential threat that HIV/AIDS could pose to national security and its implications on uniformed services, and has acted on it by engaging its armed forces in a country-wide national programme to educate its soldiers on HIV/AIDS. As a principal target of this programme, young recruits are particularly important in view of their potential role as future leaders and decision-makers, and as peacekeepers in the missions. Young soldiers are also often seen as role models among their peers, and could serve as agents for change in their communities. The behaviour of young recruits and the services and information they receive determine the quality of life of millions of people. The swift and committed action taken by the Thailand authorities and the Royal Thai Army has assured that Thailand is now internationally recognised as a country successful in tackling the HIV epidemic. This study documents the success of the Royal Thai Army's HIV/AIDS prevention and control programme, with key areas of achievement in: treatment and care of military personnel, early surveillance of HIV within conscripts, conducting medical research and development including a vaccine for HIV, and multi-sectoral cooperation."

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