Vietnam has built an LGBT friendly medical centre
Vietnam has built an LGBT-friendly medical centre so the community can have safe access to health care, sexual health information and counselling.
The centre is working towards improving access to health care to trans people especially, as it is currently illegal for people to access hormone of surgery in the country.
Although the country has put laws in place to decriminalise this, they will not take full force until 2019 at the earliest.
As well as decriminalising hormone and surgery treatment, the legislation has introduced more protections for trans people.
The centre will be providing free STI testing as well as providing this extra level of care to trans people,
It will also provide care for those diagnosed with HIV by working with other facilities who may be better equipped.
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Based in Ho Chi Minh City, it has been set up by the Men’s Health Centre and G -Link, who promote health care within the LGBT community.
Doctors at the clinic have said that it will greatly improve the care of LGBT people, especially trans people who may be self-prescribing hormones.
Dr Trà Anh Duy is a doctor at Bình Dân Hospital in the same region as the new clinic explained that the clinic was crucial as some trans people “can overdose or use substandard hormones”, he also fears that these hormones might not be administered “in a hygienic way.”
One 24-year-old trans woman said that the community was often scared of seeking medical help in the country because they feared being judged.
She explained that she and friends she knew had bought hormones from Thailand but had bad side effects.
She said: “I could easily buy hormones from people who had visited Thailand for sex-change surgery. Hormones and that kind of surgery are still not available in Việt Nam.
“My friends, who had gone through gender transition, had problems from overdoses because they did not go to a doctor, but just listened to advice from friends.
“They had vomiting and spinal pain, and at times felt dizzy. Others even had bleeding after returning to Vietnam from Thailand where they had sex-change surgery.”