Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Burmese refugees' Christmas story - Eureka Street

Burmese refugees' Christmas story - Eureka Street
A great story about the daily struggles of HIV-positive Burmese immigrants living in Thailand that highlights the striking contrasts throughout modern Thailand. An important article to read as we head into Christmas and think about all the blessings we have.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ARV Supply Concerns Along Thai/Burma Border

ReliefWeb recently published an article examining the high demand but low supply of antiretroviral drugs among migrants living along the Thai/Burma border and the dangers of a disruption in the daily drug regimen for those taking the drugs for their tuberculosis and/or HIV/AIDS.

In addition, the article examines how most migrants have limited access to drugs to begin with - particularly those without Thai ID - and how starting this month there will be even more limited access for anyone newly infected.

Drug resistance is a growing threat in this population, according to ReliefNet, and is a situation that is "here to stay - at least for now."

Monday, December 6, 2010

60,000 Thai Civil Servants With HIV/AIDS

Last week Dr. Somyot Kittimunkong, director of the AIDS division at Thailand's Disease Control Department, said that about 60,000 of the country's civil servants have HIV and that about 20,000 seek reimbursement for antiretroviral drugs each year, Asia One reports.

There are about 520,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. In 2010, there has been about 10,853 new infections among adults and children, according to Asia One.

About 250,000 people have used the National Health Security Office's free HIV blood testing services and about 7% have been found to be HIV positive.

In other news, Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, the World Health Organization Regional Director for Southeast Asia, recently said that HIV/AIDS infection rates among children increased by 46% between 2001 and 2009, the Malaysian news agency Bernama reports.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day 2010

Yesterday, the CAM staff marked World AIDS Day with a flood of activity. Half the staff caravanned around the streets of Chiang Mai with a a coalition of other AIDS organizations visiting schools and discussing safe sex, asking kids to write their prayers and hopes to combating AIDS on pieces of paper that were placed on a tree. The day culminated with an exciting 4-hour closing ceremony at a large public plaza in the heart of Chiang Mai.

Meanwhile closer to Bangkok, members of the CAM team conducted HIV/AIDS prevention and sexuality trainings at schools that have never before been exposed to such information. The Bangkok team will be traveling down to Church of Christ in Thailand headquarters to conduct a worship service on Friday morning focused on HIV/AIDS in the region. Because the Bangkok team has yet to return, we do not have pictures to post for them quite yet. Here are pictures from the Chiang Mai celebration.