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Thailand is a leading center for medical tourism in Asia. A growing niche in this important industry is made up of people seeking HIV prevention treatments that are expensive or unavailable elsewhere.   © Illustration by Eri Sato
Asia Insight

Thai medical tourism expands into new area: HIV prevention

Cost, stigma and lack of education slow PrEP pill's rollout across Asia

RAPHAEL RASHID, Contributing Writer | Thailand

SEOUL -- In 2017, David Lee, 34, boarded a flight from Seoul to Thailand, a popular holiday destination for the nearly 2 million South Koreans who visit the subtropical country annually. But Lee was not going for the pad thai noodles and dreamy white sand beaches.

"I went to protect myself against HIV," Lee -- not his real name -- tells the Nikkei Asian Review.

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