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New AIDS minister

New AIDS minister

PRIME Minister Hun Sen said this week that one of Cambodia's nine deputy prime ministers would soon be tasked with working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Speaking at a June 29 meeting at the foreign affairs ministry, Hun Sen also called on government institutions, NGOs and donors to join together to contain HIV/AIDS, adding that the National AIDS Authority (NAA) should strengthen its 100-percent condom use program.

HIV/AIDS spread rapidly when it arrived in Cambodia in the early 1990s. By 1997, adult prevalence was recorded at 3 percent, according to the NAA. By 2006, the prevalence rate for adults had dropped to 0.9 percent.

According to a report from the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (NCHADS), 400,000 people took HIV/AIDS tests in 2008, up from just 30,000 in 2007. Of those who opted for the test, 5 percent were found to be HIV-positive, compared with 7 percent in 2007, the report said.

In 2006, about 71,100 Cambodian children were infected with HIV, according to a report from the NAA.

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