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Two more in Roka test positive for HIV: gov’t

Two more people in Battambang province’s Roka commune have been diagnosed this week as HIV-positive, following an outbreak of the virus first reported in the area in December, health officials said yesterday.

Dr Ly Penh Sun, director of the Ministry of Health’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD Control (NCHADS), said the two patients, “a 6-year-old and an adult . . . are not newly infected, [but] they migrated so have only just had their blood tested”.

Penh Sun did not give further details about the pair, but said their diagnosis brings the total number of people carrying the virus in the area to 250.

He added that the ministry was expanding services in the area by constructing a three-storey building next to the commune’s health care centre “equipped with beds, a laboratory, and so on, because previously those seriously ill had to be sent to the provincial hospital”.

Bi Beng Sar, an official at Roka’s health care centre, said eight people have died from the virus since the outbreak was first detected. He added that special attention was being paid to elderly HIV/AIDS carriers, who count for the majority of fatalities.

“We are monitoring their health conditions and it is okay. They are coming to collect anti-retrovirals regularly,” he said.

An 89-year-old in the commune died from HIV/AIDS-related complications on Monday.



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