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Inter-agency AIDS team shifts focus to HIV-status awareness

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HIV-positive villagers in Roka commune of eastern Battambang province’s Sangke district. Heng Chivoan

Inter-agency AIDS team shifts focus to HIV-status awareness

The National AIDS Authority (NAA) announced the progress of the inter-ministerial working group that is drawing up policies to functionally end HIV as a public health threat by 2025 and a sustainable AIDS plan for 2023-28.

NAA chairman Ieng Mouly made the announcement on January 24, in an event attended by members and advisers of the working group and representatives from various state institutions.

Mouly said the NAA and inter-ministerial working group is close to formulating the policies, which aim to meet the ambitious 95-95-95 goals set by UNAIDS in 2020. The goals call for 95 per cent of all people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 95 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 95 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to have viral suppression by 2025.

“The working group will analyse the role of civil society, NGOs, and people living with HIV/AIDS in responding to and eradicating transmission of the virus. It will analyse their financial needs and consult with specialists and development partners to collect input for the policies, while reporting on their own progress,” he added.

It also has the responsibility of studying current policies and their shortcomings, and proposing amendments.

“Cambodia has achieved the second and third of the 95-95-95 goals. We need to consider how we can make sure that people are aware of their HIV status, so they can receive treatment,” he said.

He urged that the approximately more than 10,000 HIV-positive people who were not receiving treatment be located and educated, while calling for existing patients not to abandon their treatment and care.

Mouly said that from the current year until 2030, $5 million a year would be allocated to HIV/AIDS work. Globally sourced funds of around $13 million a year would also be available.

Addressing World AIDS Day on December 1, Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) president Bun Rany said she was proud that the government was able to effectively control the outbreak of various diseases including HIV/AIDS and called on all compatriots to join in achieving the end of HIV/AIDS by 2025.

“Our compatriots, especially young men and women, must constantly acquire new knowledge on the prevention of HIV transmission and the spread of HIV to protect ourselves, our families, community and society as a whole,” she said.

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