Thailand is a hot spot for Chinese gay men to access PrEP
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), also called Truvada, is a HIV preventative drug. When taken at the recommended dosage is highly effective at stopping the transmission of HIV.
While the rate of new HIV notifications in China continues to grow, the studies of HIV transmission shows, that Chinese men who have sex with men significantly more likely to use PrEP, if it were available to them, then common people. The important thing is that In China the drug is available as an antiretroviral treatment for HIV, but not yet available as a HIV preventative drug. That’s why gay Chinese men go strictly to Thailand to access the willing drug. First of all, Thailand is an attractive place for Chinese tourists to access PrEP because they don’t need a visa to enter. It is also widely regarded as one of Asia’s most friendly place for LGBTI people. PrEP is also a lot more affordable in Thailand. The generic brand PrEP costs about 300 yuan ($44) monthly. The brand-name drugs sell for about 800 yuan ($117) in Thailand but in China they can cost as much as 2000 yuan ($295) monthly.
The infectious diseases department at You’an Hospital will run a PrEP trial later this year for between 600-1000 men. But its director, Wu Hao, is doubtful the Chinese government will soon make PrEP free for its citizens.