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PrEP and STD testing at Thai Red Cross in Bangkok


sifil

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Location

The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre

104 Rajdumri Road Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
Google maps

https://th.trcarc.org/en

I can't remember the opening times.  I think it's 8.30 to 15.00 on weekdays.  They are also open on the weekend but you pay extra.  The opening times are listed here: https://th.trcarc.org/en/contact-us/contact-us  I think there's also an English page but I can't find it right now.

Directions

The closest station is Ratchadamri.  You take exit 1, walk down the stairs and do a 180 degree turn. There's a park on the right side. Keep walking until it ends and then you'll see a big tower on the right. The entrance is in the building left to the tower (as marked on the photo below).

You can also go to Silom and walk north.

Registration

The first time you go there, you have to get a registration card for 20 Baht. First get a ticket for the queue (right to the entrance). Wait until you're called to the computer. There is an English menu. You don't need a Thai phone number. They can send results by email. It's anonymous so you can make up a name or use your initials. On subsequent visits, you also have to register on the computer but you can just enter the number from your registration card.

I think you pay the card fee at the counter near the waiting area. Other payments are up the stairs to the right.

The system which calls the numbers is really nice: it will read out numbers in English for those who chose English on the computer. So you can just ignore all the Thai and pay attention when you hear English.

The waiting area is downstairs. Upstairs to the left are toilets and a water spender. They also have free condoms near the consultation rooms but they are Thai size. There used to be free lube as well.

You can ask for a wifi code at the desks downstairs but for that you need to register with your name and show ID.

Procedure

The first step is a consultation. Most of them are up the stairs on the right but there are also some on the left side. You tell them you want PrEP. They speak English. You don't need to lie about being gay or anything. It's no problem to get PrEP at all. After the consultation you pay for the blood tests. Payment is cash only. I don't believe they accept cards.

The second step is a blood test for HIV and kidney functions. These tests are done up the stairs on the left. You have to wait about an hour for the result. There is street food nearby.

Then another consultation to get the prescription. The first time they'll probably only give you a two month supply. You might get six months the second time. It depends on who you speak to. I was successful getting a six month supply when I promised I'd test my kidney function after three months and email them my results.

Now you wait for the pharmacy. Note that the pharmacy is closed for lunch (I believe between noon and 1pm).

In total, expect to be there for about 2.5-3 hours.

Numbers

  • 2-7 registration
  • 8 queue management
  • 10-20 consultation right
  • 21 pharmacy
  • 22-26 consultation left
  • 27-28 blood

Cost

The first time I went I had to pay 940 Baht for tests. The second time I only paid 270 Baht for tests. I can't remember which tests you have to do the first time that you don't need on subsequent visits.

They have generic PrEP from India, which is the cheapest. It's called Tenof EM. They also have a more expensive brand. The generic one is 368 Baht for 30 tablets. You also pay a 50 Baht service for (regardless of how many months supply you get).

They also offer other STD tests but I find them quite expensive. I suggest LifeCare in Pattaya instead for STD testing.

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