queenbarPhuket (Thailand): A Thai community based LGBT organization is working in partnership with businesses in the Thai resort island of Phuket to promote safe sex.

Phuket Loves You club (PLU) has produced T-shirts with safe sex messages printed on them for staff of the island’s popular Patong beach frequented by gay tourists.

All the T-shirts have the same message printed on the back “Safe Sex Only in Phuket Please” and three different messages on the front:  “I Have Been Tested Have You?” “Know Your Status, Get Tested” and “A condom is for life not just for Christmas,” said the report that appeared in myasiaout.com.

All the staff of the establishments there will be wearing these T-shirts every Friday evening.  Organizers say they hope this will provide a powerful impact on all visitors, that everyone in Paradise and Phuket in general are 100% committed to promoting safe sex and thereby reducing new HIV/AIDS infections in Phuket to zero.

The PLU club has also placed large bowls of free condoms which are available in all the bars and also carry the ‘Safe Sex Only in Phuket’ message. The free condoms are being supplied via the Life Home Project in Phuket, a PLU supported charity.

The PLU club is a formally structured organization recognized and supported by the Municipality of Patong. It works as a community based organization of Thais, expats and LGBT-friendly businesses throughout Phuket with a common goal of building a stronger sense of community for all the LGBT people living there.

The PLU holds fund raising events during the year, the largest of which is Phuket Pride Week, to be held  April 20-27 this year.

The PLU goal for 2014 is to raise 1 million baht (US$30,725) to help support partnered charities.

It sponsors education of children living with HIV or who have parents with HIV in order to help them break the cycle of poverty or stigmatization.

It’s ‘Community Project’ works with groups such as the Sabaidee Clinic, where local people can go for Free HIV & STD testing, receive safe sex advice and free condoms. The T-shirt campaign “Safe Sex Only in Phuket” is a part of this project.

According to the lasted report released by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, the HIV prevalence among the gay population in Thailand has risen sharply, from 17 percent in 2003 to 29 percent in 2011.

Phuket island is one of the most popular tourist and spa destinations in the world. It is located in the Andaman Sea of southern Thailand. It is also a popular gay destination for tourists in Thailand. The gay beach is called Patong Beach and Patong town hosts mainly gay hotels, bars, saunas, massage establishments and clubs.

Source: myasiaout.com