Thai PLHA Involvement in the provision of Care and Treatment- Comprehensive Continum of Care (CCC) Centres
In 2002, the MOPH expanded access to ARV and invited interested hospitals to be involved in a Comprehensive Continuous Care (CCC) program in which ARV would be provided by a multi- disciplinary team comprising doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians. TNP+ along with its partners decided to further develop the role of PLHA as partners in the provision of comprehensive and continuous care by allowing PLHA to provide treatment support. This included psychological support, counseling, home visits and adherence to treatment support. Training of PLHA group leaders and hospital staff was needed to enable them to carry out these responsibilities. Due the apparent success of the project, there are plans for more CCC centres to be established in the future. The GFATM supports the budget for this program in conjunction with the National Health Security Office. This has placed the project firmly within to the public health system and ensured acceptance and sustainability.
This project is a grass roots response aimed at gaining better access to treatment and in involving PLHAs in care provision. It has facilitated a community response as it has incorporated PLHA’s caring role into the local public health care system. Part of PLHAs training is aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination and seeks to make the project and services that they provide available to all sections of the community regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, socio- economic status or gender. The movement towards the establishment of the CCC centres was entirely driven and the result of PLHAs ideas and initiatives. Their involvement has been integral to the success of this project and has empowered them to believe in their abilities and capabilities as health co- providers. By undertaking the training that this role requires they have learned a lot about their own illness and how to help fellow PLHAs. Many say it has given their life new meaning and a purpose to live. CCC centres are located throughout Thailand and have been widely accepted across a variety of social and culturally diverse settings.