Cambodian Prostitutes Steal Show in Thailand

Cambodian sex workers participated in a rollicking demonstration at Bangkok’s AIDS Confer­ence on Tuesday, bringing global at­tention to their demands for long-term medical insurance for their participation in an HIV prophylactic drug trial set to start in Cambodia next month.

Some 30 sex workers barged on­ stage during a session on anti-viral drugs, shouting and carrying placards reading “Stop the Trial Now,” according to news re­ports.                         The sex workers called for the pro­tec­tion of participants in clinical trials of the drug tenofovir, which is used as an antiretroviral to treat HIV-positive patients but has not been tested on HIV-negative pat­ients.

The trial organizers have pro­mised medical care for the trial’s participants—960 female sex workers in Cam­bodia—during the study and for the following few years, but has not committed to long-term medical insurance.

The trial will be operated through the government’s Nation­al Center for HIV/AIDS, Der­ma­tology and Sexually Trans­mitted Infections.

(Additional reporting by Kuch Naren)


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