The National AIDS Authority reached out directly to Cambodia’s transgender population yesterday, saying they were particularly vulnerable to HIV infection and urging preventative efforts to reduce the likelihood of infection by the virus that causes AIDS.
Teng Kunthy identified three factors contributing to the increased risk of infection among this marginalised population during a discussion yesterday between government officials and transgender people at the InterContinental hotel.
“They still face discrimination from society, they are embarrassed to seek medical help, and they don’t use condoms as often after changing sex,” he said.
Miss Popi, a representative of the transgender community, reiterated these concerns.
“Transgender people are not seeking medical services for many reasons. They fear being discriminated against, they are ashamed of others finding out that they have a sexually transmitted disease, they don’t have enough money, and they are embarrassed to show their private parts,” she said.
The purpose of yesterday’s discussion was to find ways around these obstacles, Teng Kunthy said.