U.S. & Thai doctors to study Pattaya’s declining HIV-care system

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Thai and U.S. medical researchers plan to study why Pattaya is losing health care workers caring to HIV and AIDS patients.

Dr. Phetsri Siriniran, head of the HIV subcommittee for the Thailand-U.S. Centers for Disease Control Collaboration program, told a meeting of international AIDS specialists in Pattaya Oct. 30 that the city has seen a steady decline in the number of HIV-related health care workers despite the high number of high-risk groups in the city.

The meeting, attended by the city medical services department, U.S. CDC, U.S. Agency for International Development and World AIDS Project Thailand executives, was aimed at gathering information on the city’s high-risk groups and health care system.

Thai and U.S. medical researchers meet at City Hall to study why Pattaya is losing health care workers caring to HIV and AIDS patients. Thai and U.S. medical researchers meet at City Hall to study why Pattaya is losing health care workers caring to HIV and AIDS patients.

The U.S. established a CDC office in Thailand 30 years ago to help prevent new HIV infections and improve the quality of life of people living with AIDS. Through the TUC program, the CDC works closely with the Ministry of Public Health to develop model approaches and expand prevention, surveillance, and care and treatment of HIV.

The technical assistance helps the ministry improve laboratory infrastructure, strategic information, HIV care quality, outreach to gay men and activities related to children infected with HIV. The CDC conducts studies of HIV incidence and risk behaviors and evaluates biomedical and behavioral interventions to prevent HIV infection.

Meeting attendees visited Banglamung Hospital where the shortage of HIV-related health care workers was noted. The shortage has hampered problem solving and limited access to high-risk groups, researchers agreed.

The panel approved a motion to study Pattaya’s inefficiency in managing the quality of service to the HIV-infected population and the poor coverage of high-risk groups when it comes to preventative education.