World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Thailand Pledges Help For Drug Users To Avoid AIDS


UN Expert Hails Thailand’s Pledge To Help Injecting Drug Users Avoid AIDS

A United Nations human rights expert today welcomed the decision by Thailand to treat injecting drug users – who are vulnerable to the deadly HIV virus – as patients rather than criminals.

The Thai Government’s pledge at the recent XV International AIDS Conference held in Bangkok was hailed by Special Rapporteur Paul Hunt.

The expert, who monitors “On the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” issued a statement in Geneva saluting the Government's promise to support and collaborate with the Thai Drug User Network and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and its recognition of injecting drug users in Thailand as a group extremely vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

In a statement released in Geneva, Mr. Hunt praised the Government's commitment to ensuring access to anti-retroviral treatment for all who require it and to supporting neighbouring countries in this effort.

“This is an important step toward realizing the right to health for people living with HIV/AIDS,” he said.

At the same time, Mr. Hunt remained cautious in the face of reports of an alarming number of people living with HIV/AIDS who lack access to counselling and who suffer discrimination.

Voicing his concerns to the Government late last week, Mr. Hunt also cited reports that Thailand’s policies had “generated a climate of fear that has driven drug users deeper underground and forced them beyond the reach of both prevention and treatment efforts.”

“I am concerned that the Anti-Narcotics Campaign, coupled with limited access to harm reduction services, has inadvertently created the conditions for a more extensive spread of the virus in Thailand,” said Mr. Hunt, encouraging the authorities to act swiftly on recent policy initiatives in order to remedy the situation.

The expert pointed to data showing that the number of injecting drug users who are seeking treatment has declined considerably in the period 2003-2004, while HIV prevalence rates among injecting drug users has remained unacceptably high at 50 per cent.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news