Thai prostitute working in eastern Taiwan tests positive for HIV

A Thai sex worker who had been operating in Taitung in March has tested positive for HIV, possibly exposing dozens of customers

Thai prostitute diagnosed with HIV. (Line image)

Thai prostitute diagnosed with HIV. (Line image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Thai national who had engaged in prostitution while on a visitor visa in eastern Taiwan has tested positive for HIV, possibly infecting dozens of clients, reported the Taitung County Health Bureau on Tuesday (April 3).

The 24-year-old Thai woman, who went by the name Patty, arrived in Taiwan on a travel visa on March 11. From March 13 to March 22, she engaged in prostitution in Taiwan's eastern county of Taitung by luring customers on the mobile social media app LINE.

She had sex with dozens of customers during this period before Taitung authorities apprehended her and tested her for HIV. On April 2, she tested positive for the virus and she has since been deported back to Thailand.

The health bureau advises men who engaged in sexual intercourse with the woman, especially those who failed to use a condom, to get tested for HIV within three months.

According to a report by Apple Daily, Southeast Asian prostitution rings have started to take advantage of relaxed visa policies for certain countries in the region and in Taitung City there are now believed to be two to three such rings, which rely primarily on LINE to draw in customers.

Free, anonymous HIV and syphilis tests are available at public health centers and clinics around Taiwan. For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website or call the HIV/AIDS information service hotline at 089-352995.