Thai HIV-positive sex worker believed to have exposed dozens of Taiwanese customers to virus

A Thai sex worker, who was arrested in Taiwan recently and tested positive for HIV, is believed to have exposed “dozens” of her Taiwanese customers to the virus.

Taiwan’s Health Bureau has advised men who had sex with a Thai woman, only identified as 24-year-old Patty, to get tested within three months, in a story that made Taiwanese media today.

Patty reportedly entered Taiwan on a tourist visa on March 11. From March 13 to March 22, she worked as a prostitute in the eastern county of Taitung by luring customers via the LINE application, Taiwan News reported.

It was unclear when she was arrested, but on Monday, authorities said she tested positive for HIV, after which she was deported back to Thailand.

Hong Kong-based news website Apple Daily reported that it’s believed there are two to three Southeast Asian prostitution rings in Taitung City, which operates on the benefit of Taiwan’s relaxed visa policies.

Taiwan has had a visa exemption for Thai passport holders who wish to travel in country for less than 30 days since August of 2016.

In November of last year, two Thai women were arrested at a hotel in New Taipei for offering “90-minute buffet sexual service,” the promotional package for NT$2,800 (THB2,992). They admitted to have taken advantage of the visa exemption and had hoped to stay in Taiwan to cash in more money during the Chinese New Year.

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