Gov’t Makes Condoms Mandatory at Brothels

To help curb the surge of HIV and AIDS cases in Cambodia, the National AIDS Authority plans to enforce condom use at all brothels and other sex-trade establishments, officials said Monday.

The plan was announced after a similar condom enforcement program was successfully implemented in brothels in Sihanouk­ville, AIDS Authority officials said at a press conference.

Commercial sex is considered the main way HIV is spread in Cambodia, according to health officials. Police enforcement of the “100 Percent Condom-Use Program” has proved successful in stopping the most common route of infection, they said.

It is estimated that Cambodia will have 200,000 HIV/AIDS cases by the end of this year, an increase of 50,000 from last year, said Dy Narong Rith, vice president of the authority.

About 100 people are infected with HIV every day and 20 others die from AIDS-related symptoms, Dy Narong Rith said. That’s up from last year’s estimates of 50 to 70 new cases a day.

The societal cost of the virus is expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2006 if measures to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS do not work, Dy Narong Rith said.

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