Bangkok Post Profiles Group Providing Services for Male Commercial Sex Workers
The Bangkok Post on Tuesday profiled Swing, a not-for-profit group that provides services -- including education about condom use -- to male commercial sex workers in Bangkok, Thailand. Swing, which receives most of its funding from Family Health International, is the first organization to focus on Thailand's approximately 4,000 male commercial sex workers, according to Surang Janyam, the group's director, the Post reports. At its office in Bangkok's "infamous" Patpong district, Swing offers English classes, Internet access and places to nap and shower, and soon the group also will provide exercise equipment and medical assistance. Although Thai society has become "more tolerant" of female commercial sex workers, it is "less accepting" of male commercial sex workers, according to the Post. "People look down on them because they think they are lazy, that they are terrible people," Surang said. Male commercial sex workers also have experienced stigma in doctor's offices and sometimes avoid being treated for sexually transmitted diseases if a doctor or nurse makes them feel uncomfortable, according to the Post. Swing has begun establishing relationships with doctors in order to make "appropriate referrals" for its clients, and the group hopes to have its own in-house physician this year, according to the Post (Hermes, Bangkok Post, 1/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.