Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Testing workers for HIV



Testing workers for HIV

Testing workers for HIV

This letter is in response to the article in the Phnom Penh Post newspaper May 21,

2004 regarding HIV testing of garment workers ("Plan to test garment factory

workers' blood").

The article claimed that they want to test garment workers because they are a mobile

group of women who have left their provincial homes to find work in the city.

We feel that testing us for HIV will lead to increased discrimination against us.

This testing has no value to us but the results could further harm our reputations.

Previously, sex workers were blood tested because it was assumed that they had many

partners and are a mobile group. Now they focus on garment workers because they are

a mobile group of predominantly women.

Garment workers receive a lot of abuse and are stigmatized in society. This is an

injustice because we try to work hard to help our families and to promote the economy.

We never think about helping ourselves. Other people tell us that we are bad girls,

illiterate, easily persuaded by others, and they treat us as having no value.

Although we agree to do the test, we want all people all over the country to be tested

also. This should not only be focused on garment workers but the testing should also

include official staff, NGO staff, students, vendors, farmers, and all other people

in the factories. If they test everyone, then they are giving equal value, rights,

and justice to everyone. This will ensure that garment workers are not further discriminated

against.

We want all of the people in society to support us, not test us.

The ministry office should reconsider this program before it is implemented. We support

the prevention of the spread of HIV and the efforts to combat this disease because

we know that this is a problem for everyone. We want to inform our co-workers so

that they think about these issues before they agree to be tested.

Nobody can force us to do this testing nor can they dismiss us from work if we do

not submit to testing.

Ms Seng Chanthy - Representing 300 women garment workers

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,