THAILAND’S first HIV blood test party recently took place to promote HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Organised by Bangkok-based HIV and AIDS organisation TestBKK, the Fresh Up party in September launched a campaign to reach out to the MSM community and encourage them to get tested for HIV every three to six months.

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Hundreds of partygoers were joined by health professionals and male models, and the party also  featured live performances, information sessions, and blood tests.

Black and white macarons emblazoned with “Suck F*#k Test Repeat” reiterated the campaign’s message.

“It’s a little late, but it’s better than never,” researcher and Thai Red Cross advisor Frits van Griensven told Reuters of these new efforts.

A 2013 report revealed that the prevalence of HIV among MSM over the past decade constitute an epidemic for Thailand, a country that has battled a high incidence of HIV and AIDS since the early 1990s.

Meanwhile, a 2014 study by the UN Children’s Fund reported that 41 per cent of new HIV transmissions in Thailand occur in the MSM community.

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