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Free HIV and Syphilis Testing and Counselling for Gay and Transgender People

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Today, an estimated 500,000 people in Thailand are living with HIV/AIDS, and rates are rising among young people. Last year, the country’s most prominent HIV/AIDS awareness campaign leader, Mechai Viravaidya, warned that the country was facing a renewed crisis, thanks in large part to a lack of sex education for young people and high rates of unprotected sex.


Unfortunately, many are living with and potentially spreading the virus without even knowing it, which is why getting tested is so important.


“In Chiang Mai there are many places to get tested but few have the kind of friendly service that makes people feel calm and relaxed,” says Witthiphan Champa, Project Coordinator for the Chiang Mai Buddy Station Health Unit Centre, a new clinic that just opened this past February and a powerful new tool in Thailand’s fight against the deadly virus.


Buddy Station will provide HIV and syphilis testing as well as full counselling services for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG). Services are free and all information remains confidential.


The project is backed by local charity organisation, Caremat which has been dedicated to supporting, promoting and providing understanding and knowledge for and about gay and transgender people since 2003, with a specific focus on healthcare for those living with HIV.



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