MSM Country Snapshot Series: Thailand

By December 21, 2012 Policies

Despite Thailand’s numerous innovations in the global AIDS response, men who have sex with men have been virtually absent in national strategic plans until 2007. Once MSM entered routine national surveillance, evidence for a rapidly growing HIV epidemic among MSM became available. HIV prevalence among MSM in Bangkok was estimated to be 17.3 percent in 2003, 28.3 percent in 2005, 30.7 in 2007, and 24.7 in 2009.

Early in the response, MSM received HIV prevention services to the extent that male sex workers were targeted in the 100 percent Condom Use Programme. In 2003,the ‘Law and Order Campaign’ introduced punitive and legalistic policies that punished gay venue management for providing condoms and lubricant. The campaign is regarded as a significant set back to Thailand’s HIV response. Common HIV prevention tools rapidly disappeared from gay venues during this period. While the situation is much improved, barriers to offering effective prevention services still exist.

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