Every day and night SWING staff connects with the community during “outreach” hours. We work with sex workers
- of all sexes, genders and sexualities
- at goo bars
- at massage parlours
- on the streets
- at other negotiated venues
- Commercial and private partners of those associated with the sex industry
- Relevant service providers
During outreach hours we provide; education about sexually transmissible infections, HIV and blood borne viruses to individuals and groups within the community, distribute educational resources as well as condoms and lubricant to sex workers and sex worker establishments.
In 2011 SWING expanded our services and activities. SWING utilized communication technology to promote HIV prevention services for hard-to-reach clients. SWING uses SMS and Camfrog in addition to traditional outreach.
SWING intended to deliver 40 sessions of Camfrog chat to 400 MSM and send HIV/STI prevention messages to 1,250 MSWs every month throughout 2011 so as to approach hard-to-reach sub-groups of MSWs. However, during the first half of the year, SWING could not implement these activities as initially planned due to the lack of related technical skills by staff members. Not until late February 2011 could SWING seek help from one of its members to conduct trial Camfrog chat sessions at VerSion_GuY_MusiC Chat Room. Also, HIV/STI prevention text messages were sent out on Valentine’s Day. The messages reached 1,561 MSWs, 975 MSWs in Bangkok and 568 in Pattaya.
During the third quarter Camfrog chat sessions were organized on a regular basis at VerSion_GuY_MusiC and GAYTHAI_ESAN_PLAZA Chat Rooms. By the end of the third quarter there were 245 MSM being reached through 28 Camfrog chat sessions. A short message service was also used to remind 90 owners of sex-work venues about the collaborative meeting to be held in June. In total 1,651 people were reached over three quarters by means of SMS.
In the fourth quarter 221 MSM were reached through 86 Camfrog chat sessions, 137 MSWs through 23 sessions organized by Bangkok Office, and 84 MSWs through 63 sessions organized by Pattaya Office. SWING reached a total of 466 people through 114 Camfrog chat sessions during this fiscal year.
Although activities began in the second half of the year, the total numbers for the past four quarters are above what was initially estimated. This is due to the hiring of a new staff member who has been conducting Camfrog chat sessions on a regular basis. MSM have been provided with HIV/STI prevention education as well as counselling and referral to other health service providers (such as Bangrak Hospital in Bangkok or Pattayaraks STD Centre and Banglamung Hospital in Chonburi).
HIV/AIDS and STI prevention text messages were sent out four times to a total of 1,668 MSWs (1,007 MSWs in Bangkok and 643 in Pattaya) equivalent to 133.44% of the intended number of 1,250 MSWs.