June 07, 2014 00:00
By Thiranat Sucharikul,
The Disease Control Department has introduced a new innovative online gateway called "Aids Zero Portal" (AZP) providing easy access for all to Aidsrelated information.
The AZP website offers real-time access to strategic information, showing which key programmes can be improved and where in order to accelerate progress toward global and national targets.
Previously, data related to HIV/Aids was scattered, incomplete, or nuanced, making it difficult for people to understand. The new site aims to resolve these problems by giving information in a visually aesthetic and regularly updated website, which offers filters to meet different needs.
This is part of worldwide efforts to rein in the Aids epidemic with clear and measurable targets over the next 16 years. Approximately 460,000 people in Thailand are living with HIV/Aids, with just over half (246,000) on anti-retroviral therapy.
In launching the AZP website, the department wants to cut down both the number of people affected by HIV, and to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
“We don’t want anymore children to be born with Aids,” Sophon Mekthon, the department’s director general, said, adding that the aim was to ensure no children are born with HIV in Thailand by 2030.
“By then, the number of new HIV infections should also stand at no more than 1,000 per year,” he said.
Taweesap Sirapaprasiri, head of the National Aids Management Centre, said there were more than 8,000 new HIV infections each year.
Most campaigns managed to cut new infections by 1,000 per year, but he hoped that AZP would help cut the number of new infections in Thailand by twice that amount.
The website provides information under three main categories: know your epidemic, investment and response.
The first category provides national statistics, such as how many people live with HIV, the number of new infections and key populations affected.
The second category offers data on the investment needed for prevention, care and treatment as well as overall programme management, while the last category records the progress Thailand has made.
“We are launching a tool that has been a dream for everyone. A tool that will help us to reach new surfaces – everyone, everywhere – so no one is left behind,” UNAids country director Tatiana Shoumilina said in her opening speech.
AZP was set up in collaboration between various organisations |and is supported by the United Nations and World Health Organisation. The website can be accessed at www.aidszeropor-tal.org and will be updated every three months.