Health officials aim to further bring the rate of HIV transmission from mothers to children to less than 1% by 2020, following their success at curbing the spread of the virus.

Couples who suspect they are at-risk are encouraged to have their blood tested and
seek immediate assistance through the “Couples Counselling” programme, Health
Department chief Phanphimon Wipulakon said yesterday.

If a pregnant mother tests positive, she will be given “highly active antiretroviral
therapy” to prevent the transmission of the virus.

Once she gives birth, the newborn will be also given the antiretroviral medicine, fed
with powdered milk and have their blood constantly monitored.

The Health Department earlier succeeded in bringing the transmission rate to under 2%.

The outcome earned Thailand an award from the World Health Organisation in 2016
for its work in protecting infants against the disease.

The continual decrease will allow Thailand to reach its goal of zero transmission by
2030, she said.