Using Conversational Social Network to Spread HIV Awareness to Young Men in Thailand

By August 11, 2021 Showcase

Clubhouse Men Idol Contest is searching for new young generation who has a positive attitude towards sexual health and HIV; who advocate for people to know their HIV status and promote HIV prevention by using condoms and PrEP.

Clubhouse is a new social network where people come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real-time and through voice only. In Thailand, this has become very popular, particularly with the younger generation during Covid-19 time.

APCOM testBKK campaign, in partnership with Bei Otto, Durex and RAN Cosmetics took part in the Clubhouse Men Idol Contest, held on 24 July 2021, with 20 finalists. The contestants prepared a one-minute speech about their research regarding HIV and communicated with the audience via their Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms to advocate for access to HIV services, including testing, PrEP and non-discrimination of people living with HIV. Ten eminent judges, ranging from social media influencers, television personalities, famous make-up artists, lawyers, actors, and Miss Thailand contestants, took part in the difficult task of selecting the winners.

APCOM testBKK believes that using this new platform would leverage new groups of young people who use Clubhouse to exchange ideas, issues and interests in various fields. This is yet another public relations channel to inform young people about sexual health, HIV and discourage  stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with HIV.

APCOM testBKK interviewed the three winners of Clubhouse Men Idol Thailand 2021.

Korkuson Songsaeng

  • (nicknamed George), 27 years old, freelance artist and writer.
  • Winner of Clubhouse Men Idol Thailand 2021
  • Cash prize THB 10,000

I was surprised to get into the top ten and was in shock when I found out I was the winner! I really didn’t have such high expectations. Once the news had sunk in, I felt honoured to be  part of a project that promotes the right understanding of sexuality and diversity.

I have many things that I want to do. One of them was breaking the boundaries of my personality and my ability to continue living the way I believe I should. It’s not easy for me to out myself and say what I believe in public. So, coming to the contest is a real challenge for me. Importantly, I see that the objective of this project is to promote knowledge and understanding to our society about sexuality and gender diversity which is one of many things that I believe in and for which I want to be another driving force.

There is much more information about sex, protection and gender diversity that I want to communicate to reduce exclusion or discrimination against LGBTIQ+ and people with HIV in our society.

The APCOM Foundation’s testBKK, focuses on distributing information for the right understanding of sexuality and diversity. Many activities are done in an approachable, easy to understand manner and are always full of creativity.  As an artist I really appreciate this.

HIV is something that requires the right knowledge and openness of people in our society. People living with HIV should not be ashamed and should not be excluded from our society. We are all human beings and have the same potential in life. We should also be able to talk about sex, have access to condoms, HIV and STI testing, and also PrEP. Taking care of your sexual health should be an empowered choice and not something to be scared of.

We need to get rid of the old belief that people living with HIV are disgusting and are contagious, as it is nonsense. There’s scientific information that people living with HIV are normal people who can lead a healthy and normal life and are able to reach their potential as anyone. 

Nunchapop Kaewkoch

I am honoured and very happy. I never thought that I can come this far and I am grateful that the judges saw my potential. I will do my best for the position I received.

I’ve always been interested in entering competitions since I was little but, until now, never had the chance to participate. This time I forced myself to be brave  and joined this competition. I have learnt so much in the process, such as knowledge on HIV prevention and PrEP as a new method of HIV prevention.  I learnt about issues that I barely heard of before and did not think would be relevant to me at the time, but now I know that all of these things are important in life and I have to thank the competition organizers for opening up my world. I will continue my research on the topic so that I can pass on the knowledge to my friends and other people around me.

As the first Runner Up of Clubhouse Men Idol 2021, I want to tell everybody that we shouldn’t overlook sex in our life, whether that is related to HIV or sexually transmitted diseases. Also, taking care of sexual health issues, like going to get a blood test or being on PrEP , are all things that matter. We have only one life and we want to live to the fullest and have fun, but we should never forget to protect ourselves too. From studying the information, I now know that people living with HIV are not dangerous people. Our knowledge and technology have advanced in so many ways, enabling people living with HIV to have a normal life and actively take part in the society. What I want everyone to do is to open your heart and learn that we all can live together without discrimination.

  • (nicknamed Earth), 22 years old, Front office at Maldives beach resort, Chanthaburi, Thailand
  • 1st Runner Up of Clubhouse Men Idol Thailand 2021
  • Cash Prize THB 5,000

Phuwapas Ngamsan

  • (nicknamed Knot) 22 years old, currently an undergraduate student and working in a position of online marketing
  • 2nd Runner Up of Clubhouse Men Idol Thailand 2021
  • Cash Prize THB 3,000

I am so happy and glad to receive the position and willing to work with testBKK on its campaigns.

I joined the competition because I want to support my friends and seniors and I had a lot of fun too.

Before entering the competition, I did some research and I’ve learnt how to live a life in the 5G era – where things are going around really fast – and since I’m a part of the LGBTQI+ community, I want to say to the society that we need to take care of ourselves, respect other people and live consciously to end AIDS.

I would like to thank testBKK under APCOM foundation, who created this great activity to build awareness among young Thais. It was a fun activity and I would like all young guys to learn and join this activity the next time around.

I would like to say that HIV isn’t a worrying thing anymore and I would like young people to get their blood tested to know their HIV status, use HIV prevention and get on PrEP to prevent HIV.  In Thailand we are lucky to have many HIV services in all the provinces.  If you are wondering where to go, then I would recommend to go to Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand (RSAT), where they have consultants that can give recommendations. You may think that it is scary, but I want everyone to see that it is very accessible and easy. Another important issue that I want to address is the correct way to use of PrEP and PEP. And don’t forget to wear a condom every time, also have regular blood tests and health checkup.

I would like to say that we are living in a new society where people living with HIV can co-exist with non-PLHIV. PLHIV are not scary like what people may think, and I am sure that everyone loves themselves, everyone has a heart and so do PLHIV. The invention of ART has made this possible so we all can live together in one society.

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