This report is based on information collected during field investigations in Thailand in June-July and November-December 2006. Two Thai AIDS Treatment Action Group (TTAG) staff members and a Human Rights Watch staffer conducted detailed individual interviews with 43 current and former drug users and spoke more informally with two groups of drug users at drop-in centers for methadone patients and for people living with and at high risk of HIV/AIDS. The interviews took place in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Samut Prakhan, Songkhla, and Satun provinces, five diverse provinces with high concentrations of injection drug users. Interviews were conducted either in Thai or with translation to and from English. Interviews with drug users were arranged through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) providing services to drug users living with and at high risk of HIV/AIDS. These interviewees may therefore have had greater access to harm reduction and HIV/AIDS services than the general population of people affected by HIV/AIDS. The identity of these interviewees has been disguised with pseudonyms and in some cases certain other identifying information has been withheld to protect their privacy and safety.
Additional interviews were also conducted in Thai or with Thai-English translation with healthcare workers providing HIV/AIDS care and/or drug treatment services, including chief medical staff at Thailands largest prison, and the directors and staff of the two largest government inpatient drug treatment centers and a major government inpatient compulsory drug treatment center; high-level officials in the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the Ministry of Public Health at national and provincial levels; local police; representatives of domestic and international NGOs working with drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS; and United Nations (UN) officials. All documents cited in the report are either publicly available or are on file with Human Rights Watch and TTAG.