In cooperation with the University of Cambodia (UC), the People Health Development (PHD) Association organized a training and informational session on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), sexual and reproductive health, and drugs. The training session was conducted on March 19-20 at UC.
Twenty students, 10 male and 10 female, participated in the training session, which aimed to increase students’ awareness of HIV/AIDS, STDs, sexual and reproductive health, and drugs, as well as to promote access to knowledge, particularly in regards to accurate information about sexual and reproductive health care and voluntary blood testing services. It also aimed to strengthen relationships and the rights of youth by providing knowledge and promoting open discussions.
Ou Rattanak, Executive Director of PHD, said that students will have a better understanding of AIDS and sexual health after the session, and they can protect themselves from the risks. Students can also share their new knowledge from that day with their friends and society members.
“What we teach today will not only let students know [about] what AIDS is, but [will] also avert it,” he said.
Students who participated in the training learned about abstinence and safe sex. They learned how to use condoms in a safe manner and about where to get appropriate health services, including trained professionals they can contact if they suspect they have HIV.
Por Malis, Vice President for Operations at UC, said during the opening remarks that the course will bring students new knowledge related to health issues. She encouraged students not to be ashamed while studying, and that they should use their time to learn effectively. She also told students to be careful and stay away from problems because they can jeopardize their future.
Lim Siden, a student majoring in English who took part in the training, said that after completing the session, she felt she gained a great deal of knowledge. Previously, she had only known about AIDS, but had not known about ways to prevent it. However, now she has a clear understanding of how to protect herself from the disease. She also added that she will educate her friends to stay away from drugs and to be aware of how to care for their sexual health.
“The training course not only improved our knowledge, but also [helped us] develop rapport with other students,” said Siden.
The training session played a vital role in raising awareness about the risks of AIDS and drugs. It also encouraged students to share information with their friends in a bid to reduce the rate of AIDS infections and drug use in society
Nor Sophearith, a UC student who also participated in the training, said that the program was very useful for him because, in school, he only studies material related to his major and not about social or health issues. Through this training, he learned about social and health issues. He added that the course also allowed students to have interviews with people who have AIDS. Students will have an opportunity to better understand the conditions and problems of AIDS victims, and to encourage the victims to continue living with dignity and hope.
Like Siden, Sophearith is determined to share his knowledge with friends and other youth who do not yet have a clear understanding about the risks associated with AIDS and drugs. He realizes that students who share knowledge they have learned from others are contributing to society’s progress.
“If we keep our understanding or put it in practice only for ourselves, it seems useless for the whole society,” said Sophearith.
Source: UC Bulletin March 2011, Page 7