NHSO agrees to provide anti-HIV drugs to patients sooner

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BANGKOK, 4 September 2012  – The Board of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has approved a plan to extend all HIV/AIDS patients’ rights to receive medications in an earlier stage of illness. 

Based on the NHSO Board’s resolution, Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri pointed out that Thai citizens with HIV/AIDS will be able to obtain anti-HIV medicines once their CD4 cell count drops to 350 cells per cubic millimeter or lower, which is sooner than before. The drugs will be available to all gold card holders at state hospitals around the country, starting October 1.

The new plan is also an extension of an initial policy to provide anti-HIV drugs for patients with selected conditions, such as hepatitis B and C, diabetes, and high-blood pressure as well as post-pregnancy mothers and seniors over 50 years old.

Mr Wittaya said that the government will need an extra budget of 321 million baht during 2013-2016 to implement this plan, which is expected to help save the lives of more than 1,374 HIV/AIDS patients.