Cambodia slider Boatboy

SAN SEYHA, life at the Mekong river March 2017, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

According to UNAIDS, in Cambodia’s population of about 15 million about 80,000 (0.53%) are infected with HIV. New infections come to just over 1,000 a year. The HIV and AIDS epidemic therefore seems reasonably controlled. Those in Cambodia most affected by HIV are drug users, transgenders, entertainment workers and men who have sex with men.

Photographer Erik Smits spent a day with San Seyha, a young man who works on a tourist boat during the day and as a sex worker at night.

Produced by: Bert Oele and Erwin Kokkelkoren
Photography: Erik Smits
Text: Erwin Kokkelkoren
Translation: Pete Kaiser

“I can be honest to them. I don’t have to lie. All three of us have hiv.”


“I’m happy now.
I have a good job. I am a nurse.”


“I don’t want to lose her. She is the most important person in my life.”

Mother and Son

“All three of us had this decease.”

Family life and HIV

“Our goal is to end AIDS in 2020.”

HIV and AIDS healthcare

His HIV infection has to wait now and then...

MSM or Gay