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Cambodia on track to end new HIV infections

Cambodia could be moving towards an “AIDS-free generation” by eliminating the transmission of HIV by 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government said Friday.

As “one of the few countries globally to have successfully reversed its HIV epidemic”, the Kingdom has reduced HIV prevalence among the general population to 0.7 per cent, WHO said in a statement.

But Tim Vora, executive director of the HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC), an umbrella NGO, said that a decrease in donor funding could stymie efforts to reach the ambitious target of zero new infections by 2020.

“I think that [the target] is too optimistic, because international donors are reducing the budget . . . they have seen the prevalence rate going down, so they are turning their attention towards other problems,” he said.

According to the most recent National AIDS Spending Assessment, over $58 million was spent on HIV/AIDS in Cambodia in 2010, with only four per cent financed domestically and the rest coming from international donors such as the Global Fund and USAID.

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