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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Incorrect AIDS Statistics

Incorrect AIDS Statistics

Dear Publisher,

I just read the "Open Letter to Yasushi Akashi" in your edition of October

11, 1992. This letter states that "HIV has reached emergency level of at least

75 percent among blood donors, a rate of infection that is comparable to the rate

of neighbouring Thailand."

I have the chance of being the Head of the Transfusion Programme in Phnom Penh since

1990, and I can assure you that-fortunately-this number is absolutely wrong. Currently

we have tested around 7,685 blood donors and 30 have been confirmed seropositive,

which gives us a percentage of 0.39 percent. This rate is comparable to Thailand

where they have around 0.4% of HIV positive cases among their blood donors.

I would like to emphasize the discrepancy between the two numbers. We are very concerned

to see people speaking about AIDS in Cambodia with having reliable and cross-checked

sources of information. In a country where, two years ago, nobody had ever heard

about AIDS, the release of such inadequate and frightening information can have a

disastrous effect. Could you be kind enough to publish the correct data in your next


- Alain Rouvillois

Head of the Transfusion Programme, ICRC

The Editors respond: The Post regrets not correcting the typographical error that

was in the letter submitted to us.



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