240 students, faculty, and staff members attended the World AIDS Day ceremony hosted at the University of Cambodia (UC) on December 1, 2011. The campaign was widely celebrated throughout Cambodia and around the world. UC and People Health Development (PHD) Association co-organized the event themed, “Getting to Zero,” which refers to the three goals of the World AIDS Campaign: zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination. H.E. Tea Phalla, Deputy Director, National AIDS Authority (NAA), Por Malis, Vice President for Operations, and Ou Ratanak, Executive Director of PHD, delivered remarks at the well-attended event.
It is very important for people to take preventative measures to protect themselves from infection, stated to H.E. Tea Phalla. He also encouraged people to have only one partner and to use condoms if necessary.
After Por Malis expressed that UC has been happy working with PHD and invited more UC students to attend the HIV/AIDS training course, Ou Ratanak told the audience that the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia has been decreasing because Cambodians know more about HIV/AIDS. Moreover, people living with HIV/AIDS are not discriminated against here, and they are encouraged to continue living productive lives, he stated.
After the speeches, students performed a skit, “Neglecting is Lost, and Carefulness is Existence,” that highlighted how HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through sex and drug use, and why it is important to be knowledgeable about these issues. Students were then invited to participate in a question and answer competition.
Afterwards, the students, staff, and faculty members were given a red ribbon to wear to symbolize their commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
The event was sponsored by the MTV- Staying Alive Foundation.
Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 19