Red Cross opens first clinic for transgender community in Asia

تم النشر: 15 ديسمبر 2015 2:57 CET

By Kate Roux, IFRC

In 1991, the Thai Red Cross Society AIDS Research Centre set a precedent by opening the first HIV-voluntary counselling and testing clinic in Asia. On 27 November, the Red Cross broke barriers once again, with the opening of the first clinic in Asia to target services exclusively to the transgender community.

The Tangerine Community Health Centre, located on the first floor of the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre in Bangkok, is funded by The US Agency for International Development and implemented by RTI International and partners. It aims to become a model for quality health services and research on transgender health.

"The Tangerine Centre will provide friendly, needed services to the transgender community locally, while leading the region in identifying and sharing models to improve healthcare access and quality among transgender people," said Glyn T Davies, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, at the opening ceremony.  "These efforts will be critical to achieving an end to AIDS, but will also contribute to a much broader agenda to promote the health and rights of transgender people."

The centre is managed by trained, transgender personnel and gender-sensitive medical professionals, and it will provide psychosocial counselling, hormone administration and pap smears. By providing health services through the clinic, the Thai Red Cross and its partners aim to reduce stigma and discrimination, and the misuse of hormones for gender-affirmation, vulnerability to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

“When it comes to gender sensitivity and transgender identity in health care, gaps remain in many legal frameworks and health policies across Asia,” said Dr. Praphan Phanuphak, Director of the Thai Red Cross Society AIDS Research Centre. “But the health needs are there, and it is important that we adequately address them. We are proud to be part of this movement to improve the health care of people in Thailand and across the region,” he continued.

The Thai Red Cross Society AIDS Research Centre began operating in 1989. Since 1987, the Thai Red Cross Society is educating the public and leading research on HIV/AIDS. For more information please visit the Thai Red Cross Society AIDS Research Centre website here.