Pattaya and Jomtien (Thailand) have a great attraction for foreign sex tourists and sex workers. The good listener hears Lao and Khmer speak in the many gay bars as well as Thai. Read the story of the Cambodian boy M.T.: gay, HIV+, sex worker in Pattaya. He was found sick in Thailand and brought home and cared for with the help of Untenu Foundation.
Cambodian sex workers in Pattaya
It is not news for Untenu that Cambodians go to Pattaya to earn a living as sex workers. In the past few years we have several times helped people who had gone home sick. Because their often seasonal work came to a standstill, or because there was no work, it was decided to seek work across the border. The tourist places in Thailand act as a magnet for sex tourists, and therefore also for sex workers.
At Untenu, we are of the opinion that sex work must be healthy and safe. We help without regard to persons, provided of course that someone belongs to our target group.
The story of M.T. who stopped taking his HIV inhibitors
He has known for a number of years that he is HIV-positive and has been taking HIV-inhibitors for a while. He worked in a beauty salon in Battambang. He also offered his services at wedding ceremonies. Because of the side effects of the HIV-inhibitors (dizziness) he couldn’t work anymore, he didn’t take them anymore.
Because his income declined further, he decided to go to Pattaya in the expectation of being able to earn more money as a sex worker.
But stopping taking HIV inhibitors will sooner or later cause problems. And so this week we received the message that M.T. had been found in Pattaya: too sick to work and to go home. Meanwhile, M.T. has returned to his mother in the province of Battambang. Mother has no income and cannot provide her son with the medical care he needs.
Untenu has released money so that M.T. can recover. The money is spent on medicines, hospital costs, food and food supplements and travel expenses. Our partner organisation Bandanh Chaktomok is taking care of the help.
It is to be hoped that this will be accompanied by good information about the need to continue taking the HIV inhibitors and, if the side effects are not bearable, to ask for a different combination. The offer of combination therapies (HIV-inhibitors always consist of a combination of 2 or more medications) is smaller in Cambodia than here and the medications in question are generic (unbranded) drugs.
We don’t judge; we help
And you can help us to continue our mission: provide emergency assistance, payed internships and education tot HIV positive LGBTI’s who live in poverty in Cambodia.
Help throughout Cambodia (and sometimes in Thailand)
Click on a city and see the help we have offered over the years. At every city shortcuts to stories behind the help.