Men not to be covered in Thailand's HIV treatment program
A national health care plan proposed by Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will cover anti-HIV treatment only for uninsured and underinsured women and children in the country, leaving HIV-positive men responsible for obtaining their own HIV antiretroviral medications, The Christian Science Monitor reports. Under the program, women and children will be able to access the program and receive unlimited medications for any medical condition, for about $9 a year. Men can receive most medications for the same cost but are ineligible for HIV antiretrovirals. AIDS activists in the country are demanding that the proposed system be expanded to include all HIV-positive people in the country. Thai senator Jon Ungpakorn is advocating a plan that would increase the annual co-pay per year to about $48 per patient and would expand coverage to include HIV-positive men. A decision by Thailand's parliament is expected next month. About 1.2 million Thai citizens are HIV-positive, with about 200,000 of them having progressed to an AIDS diagnosis.