Antiretroviral therapy has been shown to have dramatic impact on reducing the risk of progression to AIDS and death in HIV-infected adults and children in clinical trials. Large observational cohorts in Europe and the US demonstrated the impact of antiretroviral therapy on mortality in HIV-infected patients in routine care settings, with up to 70% reductions in risk of death.
PHPT has been working within public hospitals to provide treatment for the participants of the research studies and other people living with HIV/AIDS throughout Thailand with support from the Thai Ministry of Public Health, Oxfam GB and the Global Fund. All patients in this treatment cohort are monitored to ensure their safety and to examine the efficacy and impact of the treatment provided.
In 2002 PHPT submitted a joint proposal to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) to demonstrate the feasibility of provision of high quality HIV care including antiretroviral treatment. The PHPT-GFATM program will have provided ARV treatment and monitoring to more than 2000 patients, one third of whom are children.
To ensure optimal use of antiretrovirals and durability of drug regimens, the program highlights the critical importance of active involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the need for hands-on training of medical professionals and the benefits of establishing independent networks of HIV care specialists. The development of clear procedures for patient screening, clinical and biological evaluations and systematic data collection enabled the program to document the high rate of virological and immunological success and low rate of mortality achieved.
This cohort is closely monitored with regular clinical and demographic data collection. Data is analysed to address the following key research areas to inform future policies and programs to optimize benefits of antiretroviral therapy:
Through ongoing training and development of specific clinical procedures, the program will continue to strengthen HIV care teams and their collaboration with people living with HIV/AIDS.