Welcome to TestBKK

Whether you’re single, in a new relationship, part of a couple or enjoying the company of many, whether you like to suck or prefer to fuck, we all need to take care of our sexual health and wellbeing.

Apart from using condoms and water-based lubricant, getting tested regularly for HIV is an important part of life.

Early diagnosis of a HIV infection increases the likelihood of keeping your body's immune system strong.

With modern treatment options, antiretroviral medications (medication for HIV), you can stay healthy by keeping the virus in check.

At TestBKK, we’re here to tell you more about the process of getting tested, ensuring you have the information you need to make the choices that are right for you and the people you play with.

More…

1

Where to Get Tested

Getting tested is quick and easy. By choosing one of the gay-friendly clinics below, your test is totally confidential and, in most cases, free-of-charge. PEP and PrEP may also be available.

Swing Clinic

5th Floor, Building No.3
Soi Patpong 1, Surawong Road
Bangkok, Thailand
10500

Phone
+662 632 9501 - 2
Hours

Wednesday - Friday, 1.00PM - 5.00PM

Notes

PrEP is available here.

Rainbow Sky Bangkok (RSAT)

1 and 2 Soi Ramkhamhaeng
97/2 Ramkhamhaeng Road
Huamark Bangkapi 10240

Phone
+662 731 6217, +668 7932 3038
Hours

- Monday, Thursday and Friday,  3.00PM - 9.00PM
- Saturday and Sunday, 12.00PM - 18.00PM

Notes

PEP and PrEP is available here.

Silom Community Clinic @TropMed

12th floor,
Hospital for Tropical Diseases
Ratchathewi Rd., Ratchawithi,
Bangkok 10400.

Phone
+0851238738
Hours

- Tue - Saturday / 4:00pm – 9:00pm

Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic

104 Ratchadamri Road,
Pathumwan,
Bangkok 10330

Phone
+662 256 4107-9
Hours

- Monday - Friday, 7.30AM - 4.00 PM
- Saturday 7.30AM - 3.00PM

Notes

PEP and PrEP are available here.

CLINICS OUTSIDE BANGKOK
2

What to expect

When You Get Tested

Getting tested is a confidential and hassle-free process if you follow the steps below.

For Thais

  1. Register and Receive Pre-test Counseling

    • Receive a queue card from the receptionist
    • Fill out the basic information requested
    • Wait until the nurse calls you by queue number and takes you to a private counseling room
    • Talk with the nurse who explains what is about to happen including any concerns/worries you have, how your blood is tested, and the meaning of the test results

    Depending on the testing clinic you visit, there are four ways to cover the cost of your HIV test:

    1. You can get free HIV tests at some community clinics WITHOUT showing your Thai National Identification Card
    2. You can get free HIV tests twice a year by showing your National Identification Card at clinics/hospitals that participate in the National Health Security Office or Social Security Scheme
    3. You can pay small fee of 20-200THB at local government clinics
    4. You can pay fee of 500-1000THB at private hospitals/clinics
  2. Drawing and Testing Blood
    The nurse draws a small amount of blood from your inner forearm into a vial. It is labeled with a unique number, not your name. This all takes less than three minutes. Then the nurse sends the blood to the laboratory for testing. The result is available in 30-45 minutes.

  3. Post-test Counseling and Receiving the Results
    When the test result is available, the nurse calls you back into the private counseling room and gives you another counseling session to ensure that you understand what will happen to you next. We call this “post-test counseling”. When you are ready, the nurse shares your results.

    There are three possible answers to your blood test:

    Depending on the result, the nurse explains the right next steps for you. Either way, you receive risk reduction counseling: how to have safe sex and enjoy a healthy sex life.

    1. Negative (Non-reactive)
    2. Inconclusive
    3. Positive (Reactive)

    For Non-Thais

    1. Register and Receive Pre-Test Counseling

      • Receive a queue card from the receptionist
      • Fill out the basic information requested
      • Wait until the nurse calls you by queue number and takes you to a private counseling room
      • Talk with the nurse who explains what is about to happen including any concerns/worries you have, how your blood is tested, and the meaning of the test results

      **The registration fee is 200 THB

    2. Sampling Blood
      The nurse draws a small amount of blood from your inner forearm into a vial. It is labeled with a unique number, not your name. This all takes less than three minutes. Then the nurse sends the blood to the laboratory for testing. The result is available in 30-45 minutes.

    3. Post-test Counseling and Receiving the Results
      When the test result is available, the nurse calls you back into the private counseling room and gives you another counseling session to ensure that you understand what will happen to you next. We call this “post-test counseling”. When you are ready, the nurse shares your results.

      There are three possible answers to your blood test:

      1. Negative (Non-reactive)
      2. Inconclusive
      3. Positive (Reactive)

      Depending on the result, the nurse explains the right next steps for you. Either way, you receive risk reduction counseling: how to have safe sex and enjoy a healthy sex life.

3

The results

Helpful, clear information.

Positive (Reactive):

If you test 'POSITIVE', you need not panic or despair. There are many people who test positive who live happy, long and healthy lives by adhering to anti-retroviral treatment and safe sex. As well, there are a variety of resources available to you.

The standard HIV testing procedure requires using 2-3 test kits with different methods to test the same blood. According to protocol, if the first test delivers a reactive result, the same blood is tested again a second and third time. The 'POSITIVE' status can only be declared when all three tests are reactive.

You will receive counseling on how to take special care of yourself and your loved ones. Remember, HIV is NOT as easily transmitted as many other viruses. It CANNOT be transmitted via food, drink, saliva, mosquito, kiss, hug, or touch. But you MUST abstain from unprotected sex. This will help you protect yourself from getting other sexually transmitted diseases and prevent the spreading of HIV to your sex partners. You still can have sex but it has to be safe.

The nurse will likely request that you contact everybody you have had sex with in the past six months. You may have unknowingly passed the virus on to them. You should ask them to check their HIV status so that they can take appropriate action to prevent further HIV infections.

Many people who have HIV continue to have a happy and healthy sex life. This can be the same for you. By using condoms and water-based lubricant you can protect yourself from other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as protect your partner(s) from HIV.

Remember!
You do not need to go through this alone. You may decide to tell one or some of your close friends before you tell your family. That is your choice. However, you should talk to someone about it. Ignoring your HIV-positive status will not make it go away.

If you feel like you cannot or do not want to tell your family or friends, the nurse can share information with you about some of the services in Bangkok available to support you.

We recommend the following organisations:

  • Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand: www.rsat.info
  • The POZ home Center Foundation: www.thepoz.org
  • SWING Thailand: www.Swingthailand.org
  • HIV Foundation Thailand: http://www.thfthailand.org

To learn more about what happens next, view this PDF

Negative (Non-reactive):

The standard HIV testing procedure requires using 2-3 test kits with different methods to test the same blood. However, if the first test kit, usually the most sensitive, provides a non-reactive result, you receive a 'NEGATIVE' result.

If your result comes back 'NEGATIVE', you receive counseling on practices that will help you stay negative and live a healthy sex life. This includes a regular HIV test at least every three months.

It is important to remember that condoms and water-based lubricant are one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against HIV.

4

Stay safe

What you need to know.

Staying Safe

It doesn't matter if you're top, bottom or both. Staying safe by using condoms and water-based lubricant when used correctly remains the most effective way to protect yourself against HIV as they will stop HIV-infected body fluids (cum or anal mucus of an HIV-positive man) from coming into contact with the mucous membranes (in the arse, the foreskin, urethra and head of the penis) of your partner(s).

How do I put on a condom correctly?

Step 1: When your cock is hard, take the condom out of the wrapper carefully using your fingers. Using your teeth to tear the packet could damage the condom. Squeeze the air out of the teat on the tip of the condom (if there is one) and put it over the end of your dick. Don't stretch it and then pull it over your dick as this will make it more likely to break.

Step 2: Roll it down the length of your cock – the further down it goes the less likely it is to slip off. Put some water-based lubricant over your condom-covered dick. Put plenty of lube around his arse too. Don't put any lube on your cock before you put the condom on, as this can make it slip off.

Step 3: Check the condom occasionally while fucking to ensure it hasn't come off or split. If you fuck for a long time you will need to keep applying more lube. When you pull out, hold on to the condom and your dick at the base, so that you don't leave it behind. Pull out before your dick goes soft.

When do condoms fail?

Reasons why condoms may fail include:

  • Not knowing how to put on a condom
  • Unrolling the condom before putting it on your dick
  • Using oil-based lube including some creams, body lotions or shampoo
  • Not using enough lube
  • Using lube in the wrong places i.e. on your cock before putting on the condom or not putting lube up and around his arse
  • Having a long session using the same condom
  • Using an expired condom (always check the expiry date on the package)
  • Using the wrong size of condoms

Where can I get condoms?

Most testing clinics will provide condoms when you go for a HIV test. You can also purchase condoms at any supermarket (Big C or Tops), chemist as well as all 7/11 convenience stores.

Make sure you visit a TestBKK supported clinic as a guarantee to receive your free condoms!

5

Heard about PrEP? Got questions?

If you have questions about PrEP or would like to find out more information - click on one of the frequently asked questions below.

What is PrEP? – The Basics

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a powerful new HIV prevention strategy where a HIV-negative person can use anti-HIV medications to reduce their risk of becoming infected if they are exposed to the virus. It is an additional tool for people to consider in the HIV prevention toolbox.

Watch the video below to learn more about PrEP.

The Research

PrEP trials have happened or are happening in Africa, Asia - Thailand, South America, and North America. They include different people who may be exposed to HIV through having sex without condoms and sharing injection needles.

From the research, we know that like many other HIV prevention strategies, if you don’t use it, it won’t work. This means if you don’t take PrEP consistently it can’t protect you from HIV, but if you do take it regularly it can offer strong protection.

It’s important for you to understand that you have options, PrEP isn’t right for everyone.  To help you with your thinking, we’ve got some frequently asked questions below:

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and for general information only, if you are considering taking PrEP you must consult a doctor or counselor for more specific information.

Is PrEP right for me?

PrEP is not right fit for everyone but can be useful for men, women, and transwomen who are at risk for HIV infection and okay with the idea of taking a daily pill to prevent HIV.

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, then PrEP may be one HIV prevention strategy to consider.

  • Do you use condoms sometimes or not at all?
  • Do you often get STIs?
  • Have you taken post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) more than once in the past year?
  • Are you in a serodiscordant relationship, where your sexual partner is HIV positive and you are HIV negative?
  • Are you in an open relationship or having sex with multiple partners?
  • Are you having sex with someone whose HIV status you don’t know?
  • Are you having sex with someone from a city or region where there are large numbers of people living with HIV?
If I take PrEP, do I still have to use condoms?

We’re not here to be the condom police and dictate your sex life. To answer this question, it really depends on what you and perhaps your partners want or need that will help decide if you “have” to use condoms.  Condoms have been and continue to be an effective strategy to reduce HIV risk, but we know that many people are already not using condoms each and every time they have sex. PrEP is an additional tool to consider for HIV prevention.

It is important to say, PrEP does not protect against STIs, like gonorrhea, Chlamydia, or syphilis. Condoms still remain the best strategy in protecting people from HIV, and STIs.

If I take PrEP, does this mean I have to take it for the rest of my life?

No. Many people go in and out of “seasons of risk,” where there are certain times it makes sense to take PrEP (like Songkran) and then other times where it doesn’t make sense to take PrEP.

For example, if you start taking PrEP because you are sexually active with multiple partners who you’re unsure of their HIV status, and later you find yourself in a relationship where you and an HIV-negative partner are committed to having sex with only each other, then continuing to take PrEP might not make a whole lot of sense for you.

How soon does it start working?

It takes time for PrEP to build up levels in your body that are considered protective.  The exact length of time is still being investigated, however for gay men it is estimated that protective levels should be reached in your anal tissue after 7 days of taking your daily PrEP, and you need to make sure you are taking each does without missing any pills. 

What should I do if I forgot to take a dose PrEP?

It’s challenging to remember to take medication every day, although once you get into a routine, it makes it easier. If you happened to forget a dose, don’t freak out. You can take the missed dose when you remember it, as long as it is the same day. If you routinely take PrEP at night and forgot it, you can take the pill next day morning with your breakfast. However, it is important to stick with the same time try to do your best next time when you missed it.

Depending on the time you take your dose, people suggest different ideas to help remember, For instance, if you decide to take your dose in the morning or evening perhaps leave your PrEP next to you toothbrush so you remember to take it at the same time as you brush your teeth. Other way people remember is to set a repeated alarm in their phone, reminding them it’s time to take their dose.

The most important thing to remember, if you don’t take it, it wont work so do whatever you think is best to help you remember.  It will get easier over time.

If you are struggling to regularly remember, talk to your prescriber / doctor or other PrEP users, they may have some helpful tips for you.  

How often should I get tested for HIV when I start PrEP?

Before you start using PrEP, it is essential to make sure you are HIV negative; you run a  risk of developing HIV drug resistance if you are already infected with HIV when you start PrEP. HIV drug resistance means certain medications will no longer keep the virus in check if you are HIV-positive. For this reason, it is really important to confirm your HIV-negative status  before you start using PrEP.

When you are using PrEP, you should get tested for HIV every three months to make sure PrEP is the right prevention strategy for you.

What about side effects from taking PrEP? How will my body be affected?

For the first few weeks of starting the medication used for PrEP, some people complain about nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and dizziness, with these minor symptoms eventually resolving themselves over time. This is often referred to as ‘start-up syndrome”.

Some people in clinical trials had elevations in blood tests that looked at kidney function. With this particular side effect, there were no physical symptoms, so it is important to remember that if you take PrEP, you need to get routinely checked by your doctor to make sure your kidneys are working properly.

Some people in studies had a decrease in bone mineral density within the first month. However, but these changes were small, did not progress over time, and did not increase risk for fracture. Once the medication was stopped, it is likely the bone mineral density returned to normal

Where can I access PrEP in Thailand?

Local, foreigners and tourists can access PrEP at affordable prices in several gay-friendly clinics across Thailand. Whether you're in or outside of Bangkok, click here to find a nearby PrEP provider clinic location.

How much does PrEP cost in Thailand?

Both Thais and foreigners can access PrEP with affordable prices, starting from 900THB per monthly supply. An additional cost to cover HIV and STI tests, as well as kidney checkup, may arise along with the purchase of the medication.