Connect with us

Hong Kong

Thailand’s Pulse Clinic now opens in Hong Kong

Thaiger

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Jonathan Wong

Today is World Aids Day. Whilst the treatments and social acceptance of HIV and AIDS has come a long way since those scary days in the early 80s, stigmas remain, particularly in Asia. The Thaiger would like to commemorate the day by featuring a story about local Thai hero Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim who has made knowledge about HIV/AIDS more available and modern treatments accessible in the Land of Smiles. And now Malaysia and Hong Kong as well.

Discrimination against sexual minorities remains rife in Asian health care. An encounter at a hospital in Thailand five years ago prompted Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim to open a venue where LGBT community members are treated sensitively and, importantly, can access health care without discrimination, easily, and with the knowledge they’ll be treated with the same respect as other hospital patient would expect.

An encounter with unprotected sex five years ago, found Deyn visiting a Bangkok hospital to get an emergency anti-HIV drug known as PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis. This antiretroviral medication significantly reduces, but doesn’t eliminate, the chance of contracting the HIV, if taken within 72 hours of the sexual encounter. But the reaction from an attending nurse was a shock.

“Are you gay? How can you behave like that?” “Why are you gay?”

Deyn eventually received the PEP medication but not after being made to feel unwelcome and stigmatised.

The incident spurred him to open the Pulse Clinic in Bangkok in 2015.

“When we opened in Bangkok, it was like customers were coming to my family’s house and we treated them that way, like you would a friend or a relative.”

The first clinic in Thailand was a totally family affair. Deyn’s mother was a nurse, his gay brother worked in reception, and his father in security.

In the first year the first Bangkok Pulse Clinic served 9,000 patients. Now there are three other Pulse Clinics in Thailand, another in Bangkok, one in Phuket, and another opening up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as the new clinic in Hong Kong. (Story continues below…)

Thailand's Pulse Clinic now opens in Hong Kong | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Local Thai hero Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim, owner of Pulse Clinics

PEP and PrEP

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once or twice daily for 28 days. PEP is effective in preventing HIV when administered correctly, but not 100%.

PrEP, on the other hand, (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. A combination of two HIV medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine), sold under the name Truvada® (pronounced tru vá duh), is approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent an HIV-negative person from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using partner who’s positive. Studies have shown that PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if it is used as prescribed. PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken consistently. www.cdc.gov

The recently opened Hong Kong outpost of the Pulse Clinic is in Central, where Deyn and staff welcome patients from the local LGBT community. But stigma against HIV still exists in Hong Kong forcing many Hongkongers living with HIV to go Thailand for treatment in the past.

“If they are HIV positive, they’d do treatment there as well because they feared their partner or anybody knowing about their status, and they didn’t want to be registered in the government health care system there so they came to Bangkok.”

Now Hongkongers can visit the clinic in Central, for sexual health services, STD screenings, HIV prevention and treatment strategies, and more. Importantly, confidentiality is assured.

HIV patients remain among the most unfairly demonised groups due to long-held, and mostly incorrect, misunderstandings about the virus. This, despite many medical advances including antiretroviral drugs that make patients highly unlikely to infect others.

While condoms remains the most popular barrier against HIV infection, Prep is also effective. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is 99% effective at stopping the transmission of HIV through sex without condoms. Deyn cites partner studies (in which one is HIV positive, the other HIV negative) having almost “zero chance” of cross infection on this drug regimen.

“The protection would be 99% so it’s even better than a condom. However, PrEP only prevents you from HIV, not other sexually transmitted diseases, so it is recommended you still use a condom.”

A landmark study published in The Lancet in 2019 that tracked about 1,000 male couples across Europe for eight years (HIV positive gay men and their HIV negative partners) and found, thanks to antiretroviral drugs, there was no chance the HIV positive individual could infect the other, even though many participants reported having unprotected sex during that period.

SOURCE: South China Morning Post

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Agen Slot

    Monday, November 16, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Had to compose you a quite little word to say thanks to you yet again concerning the nice recommendations you’ve added here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Insurgency1 hour ago

Suspected insurgent wanted for murder killed by forces in Pattani

Thailand4 hours ago

Phang Nga reopening and “Phuket Sandbox” island hop extensions postponed

Best of4 hours ago

Bangkok’s 5 best SHA Plus Certified hotels

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 steakhouses in Phuket

Thailand5 hours ago

Bangkok Train Market official says they will reopen

Thailand5 hours ago

August vaccination plan: 80% of Bangkok residents; open to general public, expats

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

300 beds added to Phuket’s second field hospital

Thailand5 hours ago

The Thaiger launches the ‘I Am Strong’ campaign

Indonesia6 hours ago

Earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | More Dark red zones, ‘coup rumour’ quashed | August 2

Thailand6 hours ago

Man arrested for allegedly robbing 7-Eleven stores in Bangkok to pay off gambling debt

Thailand7 hours ago

Protestors fill Bangkok streets to protest Prayut, many protest leaders present

Crime7 hours ago

Teenagers arrested for allegedly running underage prostitution racket

Thailand8 hours ago

PM’s daughters get letter asking them to tell their father to resign

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases, provincial totals

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending