The Ministry of Health announced on Friday that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia is down 9 per cent this year, but the country must fight on to reach its goal of elimination by 2020.
Dr Chhea Chhorvann, deputy director of the National Institute of Public Health, said during an annual meeting that the viruses had taken the lives of 2,365 Cambodians, down from last year, when 2,608 people died.
Statistics showed that adults accounted for the bulk of 2012’s HIV/AIDS deaths – nearly 2,300 – but that almost 100 HIV-positive children also succumbed to the disease.
In 2011, HIV/AIDS claimed nearly 2,500 adults and more than 120 children.
According to Chhorvann, the number of new infections, just under 1,400, is also down 12 per cent compared to 2011.
“The number of deaths decreased, but we must continue our strategy to reduce them. We don’t want to see deaths from this disease among vulnerable people, such as pregnant women, men who have sex with men and sex workers,” Chhorvann said.
Dr Mean Chhi Von, a health adviser to the Ministry of Health and director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs, said $58 million is spent on national awareness campaigns and promoting condom use every year in order to reach the elimination goal.
According to Chhi Von, there are currently 77,861 people, including 5,349 children, living with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia.
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