PHOTO: Jonathan Wong
As we speak is World Aids Day. While the remedies and social acceptance of HIV and AIDS has come a great distance since these scary days within the early 80s, stigmas stay, notably in Asia. The Thaiger wish to commemorate the day by that includes a narrative about native Thai hero Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim who has made data about HIV/AIDS extra accessible and fashionable remedies accessible within the Land of Smiles. And now Malaysia and Hong Kong as effectively.
Discrimination towards sexual minorities stays rife in Asian well being care. An encounter at a hospital in Thailand 5 years in the past prompted Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim to open a venue the place LGBT group members are handled sensitively and, importantly, can entry well being care with out discrimination, simply, and with the data they’ll be handled with the identical respect as different hospital affected person would count on.
An encounter with unprotected intercourse 5 years in the past, discovered Deyn visiting a Bangkok hospital to get an emergency anti-HIV drug often called PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis. This antiretroviral remedy considerably reduces, however doesn’t eradicate, the possibility of contracting the HIV, if taken inside 72 hours of the sexual encounter. However the response from an attending nurse was a shock.
“Are you homosexual? How are you going to behave like that?” “Why are you homosexual?”
Deyn finally acquired the PEP remedy however not after being made to really feel unwelcome and stigmatised.
The incident spurred him to open the Pulse Clinic in Bangkok in 2015.
“After we opened in Bangkok, it was like prospects had been coming to my household’s home and we handled them that method, such as you would a buddy or a relative.”
The primary clinic in Thailand was a completely household affair. Deyn’s mom was a nurse, his homosexual brother labored in reception, and his father in safety.
Within the first yr the primary Bangkok Pulse Clinic served 9,000 sufferers. Now there are three different Pulse Clinics in Thailand, one other in Bangkok, one in Phuket, and one other opening up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in addition to the brand new clinic in Hong Kong. (Story continues beneath…)
PHOTO: Native Thai hero Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim, proprietor of Pulse Clinics
PEP and PrEP
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being probably uncovered to HIV to stop turning into contaminated. PEP have to be began inside 72 hours after a latest potential publicity to HIV, however the sooner you begin PEP, the higher. Each hour counts. Should you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll must take it a couple of times each day for 28 days. PEP is efficient in stopping HIV when administered appropriately, however not 100%.
PrEP, then again, (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is when individuals at very excessive threat for HIV take HIV medicines each day to decrease their possibilities of getting contaminated. A mix of two HIV medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine), offered beneath the identify Truvada® (pronounced tru vá duh), is accepted for each day use as PrEP to assist stop an HIV-negative individual from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using companion who’s optimistic. Research have proven that PrEP is extremely efficient for stopping HIV whether it is used as prescribed. PrEP is way much less efficient when it isn’t taken constantly. www.cdc.gov
The just lately opened Hong Kong outpost of the Pulse Clinic is in Central, the place Deyn and workers welcome sufferers from the native LGBT group. However stigma towards HIV nonetheless exists in Hong Kong forcing many Hongkongers residing with HIV to go Thailand for remedy previously.
“If they’re HIV optimistic, they’d do remedy there as effectively as a result of they feared their companion or anyone realizing about their standing, they usually didn’t need to be registered within the authorities well being care system there so that they got here to Bangkok.”
Now Hongkongers can go to the clinic in Central, for sexual well being companies, STD screenings, HIV prevention and remedy methods, and extra. Importantly, confidentiality is assured.
HIV sufferers stay among the many most unfairly demonised teams as a consequence of long-held, and principally incorrect, misunderstandings in regards to the virus. This, regardless of many medical advances together with antiretroviral medicine that make sufferers extremely unlikely to contaminate others.
Whereas condoms stays the preferred barrier towards HIV an infection, Prep can be efficient. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is 99% efficient at stopping the transmission of HIV by intercourse with out condoms. Deyn cites companion research (by which one is HIV optimistic, the opposite HIV unfavorable) having nearly “zero likelihood” of cross an infection on this drug routine.
“The safety could be 99% so it’s even higher than a condom. Nonetheless, PrEP solely prevents you from HIV, not different sexually transmitted illnesses, so it’s endorsed you continue to use a condom.”
A landmark research printed in The Lancet in 2019 that tracked about 1,000 male couples throughout Europe for eight years (HIV optimistic homosexual males and their HIV unfavorable companions) and located, due to antiretroviral medicine, there was no likelihood the HIV optimistic particular person might infect the opposite, although many contributors reported having unprotected intercourse throughout that interval.
SOURCE: South China Morning Post
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