Cambodia Should Address Unsafe Practices In Commercial Sex Industry

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

As Cambodia's commercial sex industry increasingly moves away from brothels and into businesses such as karaoke bars and beer gardens, the country's National AIDS Authority is calling on private businesses to address unsafe sex practices in the industry, the Phnom Penh Post reports.

According to NAA Secretary-General Teng Kunthy, a focus should be placed on ensuring that private businesses provide sex education and are more integrated into health services. "We think that the change of behaviors is a new challenge, as high-risk behaviors become associated with beer promotion and mobile work," Kunthy said, adding, "As a result, we need to make connections with the private sector."


According to a recent report from NAA, although Cambodia in 2002 adopted HIV/AIDS-related legislation, "enforcement and implementation in workplaces and the private sector is weak." It added, "This is especially important to gain access to businesses where there is a high reluctance to implement HIV prevention measures."

In particular, the construction industry in Cambodia poses an issue, according to NAA. The industry primarily is based on small companies that hire male workers who are mobile and work on short-term construction projects, making it difficult to ensure that the industry is providing workers with appropriate HIV/AIDS information -- including the risks of engaging in sex with commercial sex workers (Sokheng, Phnom Penh Post, 11/5).

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