Dr Poonam K Singh, Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia
The Minister of Health of Thailand was presented with the certificate of validation during a ceremony which took place in New York on the eve of the United Nations General-Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.
"This is a remarkable achievement for a country where thousands of people live with HIV. Thailand's unwavering commitment to core public health principles has made elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis a reality, a critical step for rolling back the HIV epidemic. Thailand has demonstrated to the world that HIV can be defeated," Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said presenting the certificate of validation to Thailand in New York.
According to Thailand's Ministry of Public Health 98% of all pregnant women living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy and the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been reduced to less than 2%.
"Thailand has turned around its epidemic and transformed the lives of thousands of women and children affected by HIV," said UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibé. "Thailand's progress shows how much can be achieved when science and medicine are underpinned by sustained political commitment."
Untreated, women living with HIV have a 15-45% chance of transmitting the virus to their children during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding.