In efforts to reduce transmissions of HIV, Tia Phalla, secretary general of the Cambodian
National AIDS Authority (NAA), will encourage movie makers to spread the message
of safe sex.
Phalla said increased awareness of the disease through movie watching, could double
the current rate of decrease in HIV infection.
Cambodia has Southeast Asia's highest incidence of HIV infection. The latest provisional
figure is 2 percent of the general population, which dropped from 2.6 percent last
year because of increased public awareness. The new official incidence statistics
are expected to be released December 3.
Phalla said he has a new strategy to advise movie producers and directors to include
education on HIV/AIDS in their movies. He said he has not yet talked personally with
any movie directors, but had talked with video/karaoke actors and actresses.
He said that up to now, the awareness and education campaigns had concentrated on
brothels and households. Population Services Internation (PSI) and other organizations
were using a mobile video unit to raise awareness in rural areas. attracting audiences
of 3,000 to 7,000 per show.
Health messages including HIV/AIDS awareness will be in each episode of a new Cambodian
soap opera titled Taste of Life, which begins airing on TV5 December 16 (see related
story on page 5).
Phalla said to eliminate HIV infection required not only educating people about using
condoms, but also social morality, living behavior, and people respecting and helping
"The wife suffers due to the husband lying, cheating and transmitting the virus.
This is the tragedy that happens everyday in Cambodia. It's time to end the lying
and cheating because it affects personal security."