Representatives of 5,000 members of AIDS patients in
Chiang Mai say that they are not confident in the government policy on
Previously, patients received medication once a month.
However, at present they have to go to the hospital three times a month to
get small amounts each time. They also complain that the government should
have a long term plan for AIDS patients instead of an annual project for
volunteer officials during the exhibition show students how to use condoms.
World AIDS Day was on December 1. This year, the UNAIDS
organization launched its slogan “New generation with right knowledge of
sexuality and AIDS protection”. Towards those aims, Chiang Mai University
(CMU) and the Department of Chiang Mai Public Health held an AIDS exhibition
at the students’ activity hall at the university to publicize HIV and AIDS
problems and to share knowledge about protection against infection and solve
the AIDS problem.
Professor Theera Visitpanitch, deputy director of student quality
development of Chiang Mai University (right) cuts the ribbon at the World
AIDS Exhibition opening ceremony.
Children and teenagers are at risk because they lack
proper information, and are careless in protecting themselves against
infection when they reach the age of curiosity to try out new things.
All activities are aimed to give them more knowledge and
awareness of AIDS. Many students of various schools visited the exhibition.
of the AIDS show performers decorated with many condoms.
Thavee Yodreung, a representative of AIDS patients in
Chiang Mai, told Chiangmai Mail that, at the moment there are 75
groups of AIDS patients, accounting for more than 5,000 people. The
cooperative centers of each group are set in tambons and districts. Ten
centers in hospitals and five in local health stations are there to help
AIDS patient groups.
“The recent problem is that the Ministry of Public
Health stated its target in 2004 was to distribute anti-AIDS medicine for
50,000 patients. However, it is almost the end of the year and there are
discrepancies. The government says its responsibility is only to give
medicine for 40,000 patients. How come we have to go to the hospital three
times a month to get only 10 tablets each time, compared to the past when we
used to go to the hospital once a month to get a bottle of tablets? Why is
the medicine distribution held back? According to the hospital, there are
insufficient stocks and as a result, hospitals are obliged to borrow from
one another,” said Thavee.
As for the AIDS situation in Chiang Mai, according to a report from the
Public Health Department of Chiang Mai, from 1988 to September 30, 2004,
AIDS patients numbered 18,107 persons (12,973 males and 5,134 females) of
which number 4,437 have already died. Males outnumber females more than 2:1.
Most patient groups are working class people whose ages range from 25-39
years. The top five districts for AIDS infection are Doi Saket, Sun Sai, Mae
Wang, Chiang Daow and Sun Pathong.