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The challenges of ending AIDS in Asia: outcomes of the Thai National AIDS Universal Coverage Programme, 2000–2014

Author List
Suchada Chaivooth
Sorakij Bhakeecheep
Kiat Ruxrungtham
Sirinya Teeraananchai
Stephen J Kerr
Achara Teeraratkul
Petchsri Sirinirund
Sumet Ongwandee
Anchalee Avihingsanon
Patchara Benjarattanaporn
Nittaya Phanuphak
Somnuek Sungkanuparph
Sophon Mekthon
Praphan Phanuphan


Objectives: We sought to determine Thai National AIDS Program (NAP) outcomes and gaps, and success in reaching the WHO 90:90:90 goals. Methods: Retrospective study of treatment outcomes, mortality and loss to follow-up (LTFU), of all individuals aged >15 years who registered to the NAP from 2000 to 2014. We focused outcomes on data from 2008 when the NAP was linked to the death registry. Results: A total of 429,294 patients registered to the NAP up to November 2014, and 309,313 patients aged >15 years started ART. Median (IQR) age was 37 (31–43) years; 51% were male. From 2008 to 2014, long-term follow-up rates per 100 person-years were 3.2 in those who started ART vs 3.5 in those who did not (P<0.001) and mortality rates per 100 person-years were 3.5 in those who started ART vs 4.9 in those who did not (P<0.001). Mortality reduced from 16% in 2008 to 3% in 2014 for those who started ART. For patients starting treatment since 2000, 87% of those alive and with a recent viral load (VL) result had <50 copies/mL, and 6% had VL ≥1000 copies/mL. In a continuum-of-care analysis from 2008 to 2014, 68% were living and retained on ART, and 46% of diagnosed individuals were virally suppressed at <50 copies/mL. Conclusions: In the Thai NAP, death and LTFU are major factors disrupting the care-continuum, and many patients initiate ART with low CD4 cell counts. Rolling out systems for early detection and treatment for all, regardless of CD4 cell count, are essential and under way.

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