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Cambodia is on track to curb new HIV infections

Despite a large HIV outbreak in Battambang province’s Roka commune, Cambodia is set to reach its goal of having fewer than 300 new HIV infections a year by 2020, health officials said.

Since the early 1990s, Cambodia has reduced the number of new HIV infections from as high as 100 a day to a total of 1,300 in 2013.

Its stellar record, however, was blemished last December after tainted injections allegedly administered by a local unlicensed medical practitioner in Roka were identified as the primary reason for spreading the virus to at least 250 people.

The number of new HIV infections in Cambodia in 2014 will be established within the next two months, but UNAIDS Country Coordinator Marie-Odile Emond said that they are not expecting a dramatic increase.

“Despite the outbreak, Cambodia is still on track to reach its goal but there are a few conditions to this, like having enough financial and human resource investments,” Emond said.

Since last year, the national HIV/AIDS authority has implemented active case management across the country, and set up centres to offer additional monitoring in 15 identified high risk communities, according to director Dr Ly Penh Sun.

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