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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meeting on Implementation of Prakas No. 66 in Siem Reap

[SIEM REAP] On 14 June 2011, National AIDS Authority (NAA) organized a meeting on “Dissemination and Strengthening the Implementation of Prakas No. 66” at Cozyna Hotel, Siem Reap province. The objectives of the meeting are to disseminate and strengthen the implementation of Prakas 66 of government and the decision No. 482 of NAA and to implement successfully the 100% Condom Use Program (100% CUP). The meeting presided over by H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, vice-chair secretary general of NAA, and around 150 participants came from owners of entertainment establishments and beer gardens, police, local authorities, provincial AIDS committee, and relevant authorities, joint this meeting.

Welcomed speech by H.E Mao Vuthy, Director of Provincial AIDS Committee and deputy governor of Siem Reap province, addressing that he was appreciate to participate in this meeting and to clarify the confusion of using Prakas 66. The meeting is a kind of activities to prevent the HIV epidemic.

H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, Vice Chair of NAA, welcomed speech and opened the meeting. In this occasion, he would like to thank all development partners, stakeholders, and civil societies for mutually working to achieve the award from United Nation Award on Millennium Development Goal 6 (MDG6). Without the participation from local authorities, owners of establishment, and beer garden, the result of HIV epidemic reduction could not be achieved. 

Prakas 66 on 100% CUP is a main guide to pave the way for implementers. Remaining a concern of second wave which may be occurred such as the increase of Entertaining Workers (EWs), Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Drug users/Injecting Drug users, NAA conducted this meeting to disseminate the decision and to share experiences and challenges during the implementation in which it may occur.

Many questions were raised related to the condoms existing in place and concerning the accusation by police. All questions were answered by guest speakers.
-          Ask if police used condoms as evidences, what can the owners of establishment do? Answering by deputy governor and as a Provincial AIDS Committee, H.E Mao Vuthy and deputy secretary general Dr. Ros Seilavath, saying that when facing this problem, the owners of establishment should report to him for intervention. However, he mentioned that only the case related to condom uses regardless rape, drug uses, minor rape, and other activities which are not relevant to 100% Condom Use Program. In addition, he strongly supported and encouraged all owners of entertainment establishments to keep condoms available in places.
-          PAC has no budget support for coordination among stakeholders and local authorities, how can the coordination be done?  According to recommendation of H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, the budget to support the coordination of PAC is now available; he suggested PAC make a request to NAA for this budget.
-          What is the intervention on MSM in foreign restaurants? Answering by participants, there are networks and peers to educate those MSMs in which recently 1183 MSM are existing in Siem Reap province.
-          What will happen if the owners of establishment did not display condoms? Answering by H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, there is no any accusation of not displaying the condoms; however, it is the law in which altogether need to contribute to the reduction of HIV epidemic.
-          How many organizations are working to disseminate the condom use and what is the identity to show the promotion team? Answering by Mr. Nou Sovann, PSI has a team to promote the condom uses in the target areas in Siem Reap province and PSI also got approval from the owners to do the activities.

Suggestion
-          Owners of establishment suggested that PSI should make the presentation of condom display boxes and slides in the establishments to testify that there have no trafficking activities. The slides shall be approved from the governor or deputy governor of Siem Reap province with the coordination of PSI. The suggestion has been accepted for consideration from PSI and Governor.

H.E Mao Vuthy and H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen strongly supported all owners of establishments to have condoms in places. According to Dr. Ros Seilavath, there were three laws concerning to the HIV prevention such as Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, Law on Drug Control, and Village/Commune Safety Policy. Pertaining to the use of condoms as the evidence is not stated in any law. It may have hidden information behind the issues, he added.

In addition, there were presentations of the achievement of PSI on the promotional team for condom uses and figures of target groups. To be more confident of implementing 100% CUP, Dr. Sieng Sorya, deputy secretary general of NAA, read the Prakas 66 and NAA’s decision No. 482. Participants were encouragingly given a floor to raise questions and concerns for the meeting.

Finally, H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen wrapped up and closed the meeting with some recommendations. He raised challenges which have been faced.
1.       Some owners of establishment didn’t implement Prakas 66 on 100% CUP fully.
2.       Some owners of entertainment establishment remained afraid of conviction of storing condoms in their places.
3.       The staff did not have accurate figure of condom uses.

Seeing these obstacles, NAA and PSI coordinated this meeting today to disseminate and strengthen the implementation in sub-national levels among public and private sectors. H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen recommended that:
  • All owners should fully implement the 100% CUP in all establishments. This is the contribution to achieve the reduction of HIV epidemic.
  • All owners are encouraged to implement the 100% CUP without the intervention of trafficking by using condom as evidence.
  • All owners should cooperate with local authorities, especially the Provincial AIDS Secretariat for doing this activity.
  • All owners should send their employee to do testing (VCCT) in order to avoid the transmission of disease.
He also recommended PAC to implement the Prakas 66 successfully with participations from all owners of establishment, NGOs, and relevant local authorities. 

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