Bangkok’s LGBTQ+ drug users get safe haven

Bangkok’s LGBTQ+ drug users have a new safe haven after the city launched a community-based centre. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) opened a new facility with the help of the Rainbow Sky Association’s Ramkhamhaeng branch technical clinic to treat drug users and protect them from sexually transmitted infections. The Treatment and Rehabilitation and Harm Reduction Centre opened yesterday.

According to Bangkok Post, such treatments available at the new centre include consultations and rehabilitation. The director of the Rainbow Sky Association, Danai Linjongrat, says the clinic has already treated 216 gay men who are injection drug users in the first nine months of this year. Danai says around 201 patients have already undergone blood tests, with 20 being found to have HIV. He says they are all now receiving treatment at the clinic. The association also gave 54 patients pre-exposure Prophylaxis tablets to prevent them from catching HIV in the future.

“After working with this target group, we found there are many areas in need of further development and cooperation between the government and our network. We are now collaborating with the BMA’s Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment office to provide services to assist drug users in the LGBTQ+ community.”

Kittinun Daramadhaj, the president of the association, says the new centre will focus on more inclusive mechanisms to support and rehabilitate drug addicts. Such support also includes legal assistance and counselling.

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The director of the BMA also noted that the HIV rate among IV users in the gay community has jumped by 10% this year.

“We need to provide a service to help them reduce the harmful consequences of drug abuse. So our office decided to allow this association to launch this clinic that will pioneer a community-based harm-reduction approach to serving drug users in the LGBTQ+ community.


Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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