Connect with us

Phuket

HIV up among Phuket ladyboys

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Increasing sexual activity among the youngest members of Phuket’s transgender community is leading to a worrying rise in HIV infection rates, public health officials say.

Dr Sak Tanchaikul, chief of Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), said he was deeply concerned about HIV infection rates among “men who have sex with men”, which his agency members refer to collectively as “MSM”.

Already over 9 per cent of people who fall into the MSM category in Phuket have contracted the HIV virus that causes AIDS, he said.

A provincial subcommittee tasked with stopping the spread of the disease will coordinate efforts with all related agencies and groups to ensure that infection rates do not go any higher, he said.

“MSM is one of the risk groups because they have many sex partners. The more partners they have, the greater the risk of them contracting HIV,” he added.

Mrs Eam-orn Kittitornkul, chief of the PPHO’s service development division, said research conducted by her agency found an increase in sexual activity among transgender people.

“The MSM group is having major problems. From our studies last year, we found that kathoeys [‘ladyboys’] are having more sexual partners than ever before. In the past they typically reported having had one or two partners. But in 2010 we found many in the 15 to 19 age range have already had four or more partners,” she said.

Schools had an important role to play in providing knowledge about HIV and teaching those in high-risk groups how to protect themselves, she said.

Phuket Rajabhat University has invited famous sex education instructor Dr Pansak Sukraroek to lecture students, Dr Sak said.

“I think it is useful. The youth will have more understanding and know how to protect themselves [from HIV],” he said.

Apart from educational institutions, local authorities such as tambon administration organizations (OrBorTor) also receive budgets to fund HIV/AIDS awareness programs, Mrs Eam-orn added.

“Having a field trip or educational tour at the year end may help solve the problem somewhat. I think it would be better for the local authorities to help us [PPHO] install condom vending machines or disseminate knowledge about the value of condom usage to local residents,” she said.

A campaign to increase public awareness about the need for condom use is being planned for Phuket, but the exact date has yet to be announced, Dr Sak said.

More statistics on the HIV/AIDS situation in Phuket will be released after the next subcommittee meeting, he said.

Phuket has a large population of transgender people from all over Thailand. Many move here to work in the nightlife industry.

The Patong Police require all kathoey working along Soi Bangla to carry ID cards issued by their place of employment.

Those found soliciting sexual service in the area are subject to fines.

Awareness of HIV/AIDS issues is also a major thrust of activities related to the the 10th Phuket Gay Pride Celebration, which began in Patong yesterday.

For more information about the event click here.

— Janpen Upatising

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World19 mins ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics1 hour ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Technology1 hour ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Sponsored7 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Cambodia1 hour ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand1 hour ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime2 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand3 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room3 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime3 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel3 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel4 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket’s governor Narong braces for storm Noru

Politics4 hours ago

Royal defamation case dropped against Thai activist

Myanmar5 hours ago

OnlyFans star sentenced to six years in prison in Myanmar

Protests5 hours ago

Activists plan protests across Bangkok

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending