About a month ago I was commissioned by an NGO here in Cambodia to document the lives of people in “high risk” of contracting HIV and AIDS. Yes it’s my first work as serious documentary photographer and the first time I’ve been in contact with certain kinds of people that we do not usually meet in our mundane lives. The experience is very new to me, very far from what I usually do at the streets of Phnom Penh, and this is where I realized that when you are not close enough it means that you aren’t connected enough. When I say “connected” it means that being in touch with your subject on different level so that “you can be there, without being there” and let your subject open up to you like a flower spreading it’s petals. The next thing you know, you are photographing their room, kitchen, bathroom and cupboards. This blog post’s intention is for teaser purposes only, the documentary will come out as a book in December so if you are in Cambodia, watch out for it.
I trust the visitors of this site would not put hateful comments and judgmental remarks, after all they still deserve our respect as human beings.
Orphan Vulnerable Children
These are children who’s parents are either HIV infected or parents who are in the “high-risk” category.
People Living with HIV
These are people who are already infected with HIV. The subjects on this part seem to be healthy because of the ARV’s (antiretroviral drugs) to help them suppress the HIV virus.
The nature of their work often requires them to have multiple sexual partners, it’s not their fault to be in this position because sometimes they have no choice.
now we are not in the position to judge any of this people as drug users, maybe it will help us more if we view them as patients who needs treatment, dignity and respect. This last image I will be leaving with you is very graphic and I trust you understand why I have to show this to the world. The drug problem happens everywhere, and users need our help.