The National AIDS Authority (NAA) and its partner organisations are set to relaunch a “Reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission” campaign in Phnom Penh and three provinces.

The campaign aims to encourage those who suspect they have been exposed to HIV/AIDS to get tested and seek treatment, in order to prevent transmitting it to their partners.

NAA secretary-general Chhim Khin Dareth explained on December 19 that the NAA and its partners have been running the campaign for a long time, but are now set to remind people in Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces, as well as Phnom Penh, of its importance from December 20 onwards.

He said the campaign will bring together provincial authorities and key people, in collaboration with the NAA, the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS) and the UNIADS. 

“We launched this campaign to encourage those who suspect they have HIV/AIDS to get tested. If they test positive, they should seek antiretroviral treatment. This medication requires an infected person to take the prescribed medicine regularly, and they must not stop taking it,” he added.

He said that currently, the NAA detects four people infected with HIV/AIDS per day on average, with the number of HIV/AIDS-positive people in Cambodia currently estimated at 76,000. Of this number, over 67,000 are receiving antiretroviral treatment. If they discontinue this treatment, their health will decline.

He added that most positive tests were returned from people in several key groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, drug users and workers at entertainment venues.

“Because they are high-risk groups, the Ministry of Health and the NAA are doing everything we can to make sure these key groups receive the information they need to join us in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS,” he said.

“We are concerned that some infected people are at risk. According to our recorded data, the previous infection rate was around four per cent, but now it has increased to 5.5 per cent,” he added. 

The NAA urged all AIDS/HIV committees in the capital and provinces, as well as the health ministry, to join forces and share the campaign, along with information about antiretroviral drugs, using all means, including social media

The NAA is preparing to implement the 6th National Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive, Multi-Sectoral Response to HIV/AIDS (2024-28) to achieve its “95 95 95” targets for 2025.

The 95 95 95 goals mean that 95 per cent of people living with HIV/AIDS are aware of their status; 95 per cent of the people who are aware of their status are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment; and 95 per cent of people receiving treatment are virally suppressed