amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Cambodian Women Take the Reins in Treatment Workshop


February 2007—Research has shown that HIV infection affects women and men in very different ways, but for many HIV-positive women in Asia—and around the world—the care and treatment they receive has been gender-neutral. Recognizing that positive women need women-specific education about how to manage their health, TREAT Asia and the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+) held an antiretroviral treatment workshop for women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 4–7 December.

Facilitated and led by peer educators from the Cambodian Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS (CCW), the workshop involved more than 20 HIV-positive women and addressed issues such as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, women’s sexual health, and ways to improve treatment outcomes.

 Cambodian activists
Cambodian activists Mony Pen (left) and Pheng Pharozin (right)—pictured with TREAT Asia program manager Jennifer Ho—facilitated a treatment workshop for women in Phnom Penh. Mony and Pharozin are both ACATA members who work with the Cambodian Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS.

“While the workshop highlighted the urgent need for treatment literacy targeting women in Cambodia, it also underscored the enormous capacity and commitment of women in taking control of their treatment and care when given the right opportunity and support,” said Jennifer Ho, community programs manager for TREAT Asia.

TREAT Asia will continue to work with CCW in 2007 to implement a program to train trainers—educating those who will train others to provide community treatment education. A key objective of this partnership is to have qualified and confident peer treatment educators available within CCW by the end of 2007.