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Thread: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

  1. #1
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    Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    Anyone reading the Boards over the last few years knows only too well that the rate of HIV infection amongst msm in Thailand is very high. According to ThailandтАЩs Ministry of Public Health and the USCDC, this rose dramatically from around 17% in 2003 to 29% in 2011 - http://www.irinnews.org/report/98439/th ... -hiv-rates. According to another 2013 UNAIDS Asia Pacific Report, throughout the region generally the rate ranges from 15% to 25%. One of the most worrying trends in Bangkok, it seems, is the number of saunas that have sprung up in recent years catering mostly to young Thais for Thais where condom use is the exception rather than the norm. This is a sad result of successive governments substantially reducing the countryтАЩs HIV education educational programmes which were so effective in the late 1980s and 1990s.

    Today, though, GayAsiaNews reports on the first trials of a new Chiang Mai-based research programme into tests of an anti-HIV rectal gel which, if successful, might be a new tool in the fight against HIV.

    Research Institute for Health Sciences in Chiang Mai University which has been a research site for over 35 major International studies in the past years is one of the sites for the study. Similar study sites will commence soon in South Africa, Peru and the US.

    The objective of this study is to ascertain the safety of a rectal microbicide gel. Depending upon the outcome of this study, more studies will be conducted later.

    The study in Chiang Mai will have 24 study participants. Thirteen study participants have been recruited by June 2014 and 11 more study participants will be recruited by October 2104. The study is expected to finish by the end of first quarter of 2015.
    http://gayasianews.com/2014/06/17/thail ... er-people/


  2. #2
    Moderator christianpfc's Avatar
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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    " One of the most worrying trends in Bangkok, it seems, is the number of saunas that have sprung up in recent years catering mostly to young Thais for Thais where condom use is the exception rather than the norm."

    I have been to over 10 different gay saunas in Bangkok, at least they all provide a condom and lube for every customer.

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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    Were those saunas visited Thai on Thai? I have read that young Thais view HIV as a foreign concern; have sex with a foreigner then use a condom, have sex with another Thai then you're are ok.

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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by christianpfc
    I have been to over 10 different gay saunas in Bangkok, at least they all provide a condom and lube for every customer.
    I guess the natural follow on from that has to be - (i) is this usual in all the other primarily Thai for Thai saunas, and (ii) do the guys there actually use them? All I can say is my Thai friends tell me condom use is not at all common.

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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    Likewise I get similar replies that "condoms (maybe) only needed with farang, but Thai ok as it "only farang who have problem" and likewise in some saunas (and even surprisingly a popular farang sauna in Pattata) yes you maybe get your condom - if you go and ask at the bar !! ( and I mean a singular condom) but look out if you have the nerve to go back and ask for a second or a third and stand by for either a stupid needless 10 baht charge to put you off asking or a look of "but you already got "it" earlier and now you want more!"

    Very depressing all round when you think just how many times infections of all sorts must be getting passed round totally needlessly between Thais ( and no doubt some stupid farang too) and sometimes with dire consequences for both parties and all when that is all totally avoidable :-(

  6. #6
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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    Cannot one bring their own condoms to these saunas? Or is that a no-no? Why rely on some inferior product if safe sex is so important?

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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    You absolutely can Francois and I would absolutely recommend you do that and in fact it was a thai friend who first suggested that I do that as ( and this never occurred to me as it would normally never happen here in Europe) but he stated that it was more usual than not that the condoms you would be given in the the saunas in Thailand would be both of cheap manufacture perhaps but also more scarily also perhaps be out of date as the Thai guy behind the counter maybe couldn't read the european calendar date printed on the condom - and even if he could he probably wouldn't care enough to not give you them - plus as you've saving them money the sauna's are of course more than happy that you bring your own condoms ( and lube) too usually - and at least then YOU know what you're getting and using and you can also bring the required amount and not have to run about the place begging for more if you need them.

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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    I am sure everyone can take condoms into any sauna. The issue is surely less their availability than a lack of desire (or understanding of the need) of young Thais to use them.

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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    I always take extra condoms and lube into gay saunas. In the cruising areas I find sometimes anal is refused afteri have put a condom on. Also some guys leave them back in the locker and there is a need for two, because I'm versatile.
    Interesting about the gel, but I'm staying with condoms for now, although I would love bareback if it was safe.

  10. #10
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    Re: Thailand Tests New Anti-HIV Gel

    I guess the idea is to offer an alternative to those who don't like condoms and currently cannot be bothered to use them for one reason or another. I've got the bad feeling that this idea could backfire: On the one hand, I think there will be some takers within that aforementioned group, so they'll get a higher level of protection as intended and that's a good thing. But on the other hand, it's inevitable that there will also be takers among those who currently use condoms and who will then abandon them in favor of the new gel. Assuming that condoms offer a higher level of protection, it could prove very tricky to communicate that effectively, complicating things for safer sex education.
    Yes, grandpa, I know it used to be more fun 30 years ago...

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