TestBKK, APCOM’s newly-founded HIV testing campaign targeting young gay men in Bangkok, is proudly presenting “Fresh Up: Fight for your health, fight for yourself” as its brand activation event on September 20. The Fresh Up event offers a free health check-up package, which includes a blood test, a “beauty check” and physical fitness programs from professional teams. The event, which will be held at Renaissance Hotel, Chitlom, involves a large number of sponsors and supporters to help create a fun and innovative atmosphere.
There is an increasing interest among young Thai MSM in being healthy, an encouraging development at a time when about one in three MSM in Bangkok are estimated to be HIV positive. TestBKK highlights sexual health issues as one of the key elements towards building holistic health for MSM by encouraging them to know their HIV status.
“Knowing your HIV status is vital, and helps you plan on how you can stay healthy,” said Dr Piyathida Smutraprapoot of the AIDS, TB and STIs Division, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. “Testing is quick, easy and confidential. Whether you are tested positive or negative, there are guided ways to enable you to live a healthy life.”
The TestBKK campaign has already launched four videos, in April 2014, whose success is reflected in the more than 600,000 views online that they have received, catching the attention of both national and international media. TestBKK is about to launch another two videos aiming to eradicate the myths attached with HIV testing among the young Thai gay community and encourage them to get tested. The first of two videos will be launched today through the campaign’s YouTube channel.
“TestBKK is known for its innovation and messaging targeted to the young Thai gay audience in Bangkok and beyond,” noted Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director of APCOM. “We are very excited, as this is the first time that any organisation is doing this kind of event and we have had very good partnerships with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and with the private sector who were impressed with our approach. This is another way to normalise HIV testing and ensure that messages about knowing your status get out more widely into the community.”
The Fresh Up event will be held at the Renaissance Hotel, Chidlom, on Saturday 20th September, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. This event is completely free, and lots of prizes, giveaways and fabulous performances are guaranteed. The Fresh Up event will be followed that very same evening by the TestBKK TRASHER party at the Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium from 8:00pm to 2:00am.
DJ Jojo from TRASHER reinforced the day’s testing message telling others, “We love the theme of TestBKK and its aim that testing is not as scary or embarrassing like many people believe it to be. Being healthy should be considered as one key aspect of your life, just as you care about your hairstyle, clothes, songs and partying. Getting tested is part of knowing how to plan how you can live a cool life. We all love to party, but you should also love and take care of yourself.”
Post-event Update: Watch the video below to recap the excitement of Fresh Up event.