In a bid to prevent HIV/Aids among homosexual men, the Thai Red Cross Society Aids research centre, the Disease Control Department, and other groups have joined forces to launch Asean's first online "edutainment" health campaign for homosexual men at www.
Centre director Praphan Phanuphak told a press conference on Tuesday that, out of some 500,000-600,000 people living with HIV/Aids in Thailand, about 100,000 were homosexual males. In Bangkok alone, about three in 10 homosexual men - or 29.1 per cent - were HIV/Aids patients. In the smaller cities about 10 per cent of homosexual men were living with HIV/Aids.
He said the high prevalence was because there was no clear system of HIV-screening, citing that an anonymous clinic conducted HIV tests on about 50 people a day and found about 10 to be HIV-positive - 8-9 of whom were homosexual men.
Praphan said the groups had launched this campaign to let gay men to chat, access useful information and feel encouraged to get HIV-screening tests about 2-3 times a year. This would help reduce the number of Aids patients because doctors could prescribe them with anti-viral medicines in time, cutting the transmission rate to others by 90 per cent.