HIV/AIDS rate expected to keep declining in Cambodia

August 21, 2008 at 2:34 am Leave a comment

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — The number of Cambodians with HIV or AIDS has plummeted from the country’s all-time high in the late 1990s and experts expect its prevalence to continue dropping in the foreseeable future, national media said Wednesday.

“This is good news,” English-Khmer language newspaper the Cambodia Daily quoted Mean Chhi Vun, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS), as commenting on NCHADS’ latest report.

“As a program manager, I am very happy because this shows we have successfully slowed down or controlled the HIV epidemic through prevention, care and treatment,” he added.

Recent sample tests in 22 provinces and municipalities throughout Cambodia tell NCHADS that some 14 percent female sex workers are thought to have HIV/AIDS, as opposed to 43 percent in 1998, and 1.1 percent this year as opposed to 2.1 percent in 1998 among pregnant women.

Meanwhile, the infection rate of the disease is now kept under one percent in the kingdom, said the tests.

The decline can be attributed to increased condom use and high treatment rates, according to NCHADS officials.

The infection rate of HIV/AIDS in Cambodian once reached 3.3 percent at its peak in 1997. 

 
Editor: An
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