Beach Road “service girls” offered free HIV tests

Friday, 25 April 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 17 By  Warunya Thongrod

Beach Road “service girls” were offered free HIV screenings as Thailand’s Public Health Ministry and an HIV/AIDS group organized the annual “Getting to Zero” health fair in Pattaya.

City Councilwoman Chanansa Sutthithamrongsawat opened the April 10 event at the intersection of Beach and Central roads with Dr. Monthinee Wasantiupphokhakorn of the ministry’s Bureau of AIDS, TB and STDs and representatives from SWING Thailand, a community-based non-governmental organization devoted to educating and improving the quality of life for sex workers in Thailand.

Volunteers take to the streets to spread the anti-HIV/AIDS message.Volunteers take to the streets to spread the anti-HIV/AIDS message.

The fair offered free HIV and AIDS screenings to female sex workers, as well as health booths offering blood-pressure checks, blood-sugar tests, health advice from specialists, and free condoms.

“This is a good move, as many agencies and networks have joined hands to make the event happen in order to reduce new HIV cases, reduce deaths from AIDS and reduce the stigma and discrimination related to HIV,” Chanansa said.

On World AIDS Day Dec. 1, the ministry said Thailand had 1.2 million HIV-infected citizens.

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