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December 31, 2008

Thailand Prisoners to Receive HIV Treatment

Beginning in 2009, Thailand’s government will oversee programs that provide treatment to all HIV-positive prisoners, the Voice of America reports. The programs were initiated by Doctors Without Borders (known as MSF).

In 2003, the government invited MSF to provide HIV/AIDS treatment for the inmates at the Minburi Prison in Bangkok, making it the first prison in Thailand to provide inmates with free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

It was then expanded to two other prisons. According to the article, everyone in the general population has universal access to ARVs. However, before the MSF program, inmates living with HIV received little to no health care and prison officials lacked knowledge about virus; in fact, they thought distributing condoms would promote sexual activity.

Thailand’s Ministry of Health and the Department of Corrections will take on responsibility of all HIV treatment programs in prisons in 2009.

Search: Thailand, Doctors Without Borders, prisoners

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