Along with Pride week and other events organized during the past 5 years, the PLU has raised a total of 1.6 Million Baht to help fight HIV in Phuket, support people living with HIV and to promote a better lifestyle for the Phuket LGBT community.
The week saw 7 days of FUN and Celebrations, under the Pride slogan of ‘Hand in Hand in Thailand’ where both LGBT residents and tourists, with their ‘Straight’ friends, came to celebrate their right to live their lives as they wish and to be proud of being who they were born to be.
The money was raised from several events throughout the week including the Opening Party – Stargazer, a talent competition, a gay cruise around James Bond island, Gala Dinner & Charity Auction at Higher Restaurant in Bangla Road Patong, the Big Event pool party including Mr. Phuket Pride contest at Andaman Embrace Resort, Sunset Beach Party, a prize draw and generous donations from other events held during the week and from businesses and individual people. The week also included a Volleyball competition on Patong Beach with 9 Thai teams competing.
The proceeds from this year’s Pride celebrations, after retaining some funds for future events, will be distributed to the Life Home Project foundation, where the PLU assists in the funding of the education of children with HIV or with parents with HIV, and the PLU Community projects which aim to increase the awareness of HIV and safe sex.
The main program within the Community projects is HARP – HIV and Aids Related Programme which, over the past two years, has provided for 690 free HIV tests for the workers from the local gay community and has seen a significant reduction in positive tests. This together with poster campaigns in Thai, promoting safer sex and testing, 25 free condom boxes in all the gay venues in Soi Paradise and issuing, during the past 2 years over 150,000 free Carex condoms, these condoms and lubrication packs were donated free to the PLU from Karex Berhad.
Ian Phillips the PLU Chairman said “I would like to thank everyone who has supported our last five Phuket Pride weeks. With fewer gay tourists coming to Phuket this year, to raise this amount is a great achievement. I would like to thank all those who worked tirelessly to organise the week’s events, those who attended and donated. I would especially like to thank our highly valued sponsors, without their support we would not be able to run our community projects and programmes.”
The Chairman of the PLU Community Project Team, Kenneth Miller, said “giving that Phuket has the highest rate of HIV infection in Thailand, we are challenged to continue our work in helping our Thai Community live a healthier life. This past year, we donated money to Patong Hospital (Sabaidee Clinic) to provide free CD4 testing for people who were tested positive as well as funding the anti-viral load testing. We feel strongly that a compensative approach in fighting this disease is the correct tactic – a prevention program which educates about safer sex, knowing ones status by getting tested and if positive, receiving the necessary medication to live healthy lives. Without this approach, we will never achieve the goal of getting the rate of HIV to zero.”
For up-to-date information about PLU activities and view our Pride 2015 photo gallery visit our web site: www.phuket-pride.org