Cultural acceptance of PReP will lead to a decrease in HIV infection in Thailand
Although HIV is not a “gay disease”, HIV transmission is highest among MSM (men who have sex with men), trans and gender non-conforming people.
In 2018, among the 480,000 people in Thailand living with HIV, the highest rate of HIV infection was among adults aged 15-49. Over the years, these numbers have steadily declined, but have not stalled by any means.
However, they can be stalled.
Approved by the FDA (the US’s Food and Drug Administration) in 2012, PReP (Pre–exposure Prophylaxis) is a daily medication that reduces the risk of HIV transmission by up to 99% when taken as prescribed.
PrEP distribution started in Thailand in 2014 through the PrEP-30 scheme program at Thai Red Cross. Here, people could buy Thai-manufactured generic PrEP for THB30 per day. The Tangerine Community Health Center, which is located inside of the Thai Red Cross in Bangkok, distributes PReP for free to transgender Thais.
Since then, the cost has come down to THB400 per month (at Thai Red Cross) and in 2018, the Ministry of Public Health began to scale up PrEP distribution in Thailand to make it nationally available high-risk HIV groups.
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