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HIV+ community demands equal rights

HIV+ community demands equal rights

PEOPLE living with HIV/Aids have urged the government to  help provide them with proper jobs and take action to eliminate discrimination against them.

Sou Sinath, a representative of HIV/Aids sufferers, said discrimination is rampant  in schools and workplaces.

"The discrimination against [HIV-positive people] makes it difficult for such people to make money," Sinath said. "We require job opportunities and training in new skills so that we can show the society that we are able to work and make money."

She said that some workplaces provided very low-paying jobs to HIV/Aids sufferers. "People can't survive on US$15 to $30 per month, and NGOs and the government should pay more attention."

Oum Mean, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, said people who discriminate against people with HIV/Aids  have no knowledge of the disease and that the ministry has educated employers and encouraged them to provide job opportunities to both HIV-positive and disabled persons.

Mean Chhivun, director of National Center for HIV/Aids, Dermatology and STD, said discrimination against HIV-positive people has decreased in the last decade and more people are getting tested for the virus.

According to Mean Chhivun, there are currently 67,000 people with HIV/Aids in Cambodia and 87 percent are receiving anti-retroviral treatment from 50 centres. 

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