HIV Testing campaign turn into testing people’s compassion for Thailand’s LGBTQI and people living with HIV affected by COVID-19 pandemic

By April 24, 2020 Advocacy, Learning, Newsroom

Bangkok, 24 April 2020 – We announced on 10 April that APCOM staff donated salary to start a relief fund mechanism called #CoronaAPCOMpassion to support key populations and LGBTQI community in Asia Pacific significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding government measures. To enable supporters in Thailand to contribute their compassion into this emergency fund, we launched a campaign on 19April 2020, with a simple message that their donation of THB 19 will go a long way in fighting COVID-19 (19 บาท ต้าน โควิด-19 in Thai, approximately USD 0.60) via bank transfer or QR code. We promoted the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, through partners, such as Voice TV, the NOK, TestBKK page, Facebook page, plus LGBTQI influencers to share on their respective social media platforms.

We hope that the campaign will go viral, so that we are able to support the many organisations and people who risk their lives in the frontlines to support our community, including LGBTIQ people, key populations and people living with HIV.

 “As APCOM staff are part of the community who are working with and for the community, we need to do something to generate support for affected key populations, LGBTQI people and PLHIV in Thailand, and in Asia Pacific, despite limited funding. This campaign allows many people to get involved through the smallest of gestures, which really does go a long way particularly during this bleak time.” Said APCOM Executive Director, Midnight Poonkasetwattana.

In Thailand, many insurance plans do not cover those who are also living with HIV, creating a difficult situation for many affected by the pandemic and lockdown due to the State of Emergency decree. Frontline community organisations often have little support, and rely on the community solidarity in order to access funding and volunteers.

APCOM’s TestBKK is supported by USAID Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project.