The Brutal Conditions of Cambodia’s AIDS Colony



Image: Artur Gutowski

A young girl stands in a field with Tuol Sambo in the background.

One of the impressions that struck Polish photographer Artur Gutowski most poignantly about Tuol Sambo was the playfulness and “strange happiness” of the children. “You can take a picture of them and you cannot see that they think about [the] problems which they live with,” he says. Perhaps this is a positive, though, because the troubles these youngsters face are not the kind you would wish any child in the world to have to face.


Image: Artur Gutowski

Despite this man’s gesture, all is not well in Tuol Sambo.

At first glance, Tuol Sambo might seem like any other Southeast Asian shantytown, with makeshift housing, overcrowding and open sewers. But the reality is far worse. Not only do the residents here lack basic facilities like clean water, sanitation and electricity, they must also do without readily accessible medical facilities. Moreover, such facilities are vital given that many of the inhabitants here are infected with the HIV virus.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT