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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Aids warning issued

Aids warning issued

C ambodia could suffer an Aids epidemic on similar proportions to Thailand if

education programs and adequate medical care were not introduced immediately,

warned a visiting Thai expert on the disease.

Meechai Viravaidya,

chairman of the Population and Community Development Association of Thailand,

told the first meeting of Cambodia's National Aids Committee the HIV virus could

"spin out of control" nationally if immediate action was not taken.

He

also advised Cambodian experts not to make the same mistakes as Thailand in

combating the disease.

"You must act quickly, do not wait until the

problem gets out of hand like it did in Thailand. Don't wait until next year to

look at the problem - Cambodia has to start today."

"At first the Thai

government was not worried about the disease and took the attitude that it was a

Western disease that would not affect a great number of Thais," he

said.

"Now, Thailand is in a very difficult position because we ignored

the problem when it first started. "

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