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.

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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