Thailand is one of the first countries to have achieved significant advances in control over the HIV/AIDS epidemic occurring within its borders. Despite this impressive accomplishment, the disease continues to be a leading cause of death in Thailand and is migrating into Thai populations heretofore relatively free of it, such as married women. In 2003, a unique Thai, American, academic, and government collaboration formed to address the on-going challenges of HIV/AIDS in Thailand and its emerging characteristics. The objective of this collaboration was to increase the capacity of Thailand's public health infrastructure to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS by utilizing a larger and more empowered role for nurses within the country's existing health care system. This collaboration consisted of the Deans' Consortium of Nursing Educational Institutions, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, the Faculty of Nursing at Mahidol University, and United States university nursing educators. This paper describes the process that brought this collaboration into being. It also describes the outcomes achieved by this collaboration; a collaboration that realized a national strategy to leverage and expand the role of public health nurses and the initiation of a nurse practitioners' role in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. This collaboration and strategy increased the capacity of the health care system in Thailand to more effectively meet the challenges posed by all infectious diseases in Thailand and, in particular, HIV/AIDS.
- Public health nursing
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