One day, I heard a family having a heated argument about things happening in their
"We know that our bachelor son has syphilis, but why has our son-in-law got
it too?" came the words.
Syphilis and a new, dangerous sexually-transmitted disease called AIDS are imposing
a fearful threat to Cambodia.
If we try to ignore AIDS, in five or ten years' time, all the Khmer sons will get
the AIDS virus. I think the country is still very poor, but why would the young people
want to die so soon?
Being a martyr with syphilis, you always shout for help from your wives, but while
you are going to "heaven," you never think about them.
Left from the killing by the Khmer Rouge, you are trying to kill yourselves. Worse
still, you are trying to kill your pregnant wives and their babies.
Through blood tests, we have found 45 out of only about 8,000 people have the AIDS
virus. So, how many of those who have not had blood tests? Can we say 2 or 100 has
At the moment, prostitution is a worrisome problem. The women are running stupidly
after dollars. An increase of tourism has brought about an increase of prostitution.
So far as we know, more than 200 companies have come to do business in Cambodia.
They only buy land and villas and build hotels and bars, and import shipfuls of useless
drink, stirring the feelings of the town folk (and some of the country folk who sell
their rice fields and cows) to go to the bars.
Finally, these people stay at home, wearing their undershorts, the only things which
are left of their possessions.
We can find out the number of all the "night birds," including those of
Toul Kork embankment, Svay Pak, Kralor Bek, Psar Toch, Kilo Number 6, Bo Dinh, Psar
Kap Ko, coffee shops, large bars and hotels, etc.-good food is available everywhere.
This is not a joke! Can we let these things happen any longer? The concerned ministry
has held a seminar and it has many times announced the arrival of AIDS in Cambodia.
It said we had to be aware of this and prevent it, but the number of night birds
has been added up ceaselessly.
It is necessary that a committee be set up to be responsible for this matter. This
business must be lawfully done with the owners responsible for their girls in accordance
with the laws, and medical treatment must always be available. It is most unpleasant
to hear the old people say, "A harlot with a card is better than the one who
hasn't." It is obvious that prostitution has made all countries feel sick. However,
most countries meet their responsibility and maintain strict control in a form of
It will be a heavy burden for Cambodia, which has not completely come out of war,
to incur another problem the magnitude of AIDS. We have to place great stress on
health care and social affairs.
If you get AIDS, you must not fear death. And it will be good if AIDS kills only
you. But it will kill your wives and babies, as well. Girls, be careful with your
husbands. And young boys must not go to the cinema to watch obscene films.
AIDS will kill all the "hungry" guys and send them to hell.
- Translated by Moeun. Chhean Nariddh