Cambodian Boat Racing Festival Includes Crew Comprising Primarily HIV-Positive Members
Cambodia's annual three-day water festival, which began on Tuesday in the capital city of Phnom Penh, this year includes the first-ever boat-racing crew comprising mainly HIV-positive people, BBC News reports. Forty-five people on the 55-member team are HIV-positive. The team -- whose boat is called "Fighting HIV/AIDS" and whose uniforms say, "Turn discrimination into action" -- aims to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma by showing their racing abilities. The crew is competing along with about 400 other boats from around the country. However, the team will provide the only HIV/AIDS awareness messages at the festival, as the government has asked television networks not to air awareness advertisements during this year's events. Although HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns have been "highly visible" at previous water festivals, the organizing committee this year believed such messages would "give the wrong impression of Cambodia to foreign tourists," according to BBC News (De Launey, BBC News, 11/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.