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.