Chuoy, the walking talking condom and star of a local media campaign in the fight
against HIV/AIDS, took his message to the World AIDS Conference in Bangkok this week
which was opened by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The home-grown cartoon character is also teaming-up with Hollywood action star Jackie
Chan, who recently visited Cambodia, to deliver the safe sex message.
The cartoon skits were designed and narrated by Cambodians trained by a Nepalese
animator, and an English version has been prepared for global release.
Louk Chuoy translates as Mr Help. He has been a regular feature on Cambodian television
since a three-year campaign organized by the government and the BBC World Service
Trust was launched in May to combat the deadly virus.
Giselle Portenier of the BBC World Service Trust, said the words louk chuoy were
now entering the Khmer language as the preferred term for condom, as opposed to sroam
anamei which means "hygenic bag".
"Louk chuoy has connotations with another Khmer word that means love-making
and a woman would find it easier to say to her husband: 'Let's get Mr Help' as opposed
to 'Hey honey, can you fetch the hygenic bag'."
Cambodia has won worldwide applause for its efforts to combat the spread of the HIV/AIDS
virus and according to a recent report by the United Nations was one of only two
countries to report a drop in the rate of new HIV infections.
Portenier said a new batch of Louk Chuoy skits featuring Jackie Chan will air on
Cambodian television soon.
- Luke Hunt