Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Over 600 Gather to Mark World AIDS Day

Wednesday, 02 December 2009 04:12 DAP-NEWS

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Over 600 governmental officials, foreign diplomatic corps, NGOs involved with AIDS/HIV and others on Tuesday gathered to mark World AIDS Day at the Chaktomuk theater hall in Phnom Penh.

Bun Rany Hun Sen, wife of PM Hun Sen and Chairman of Cambodian Red Cross, presided.

HIV/AIDS has caused problems for Cambodian society, including losing human resources and force people to live poverty and discrimination, she said, adding that promoting gender equality is a good route to HIV/AIDS prevention.

“We are continuing to strongly support all activities for HIV/AIDS projects to cancel this deadly disease,” said Bun Rany Hun Sen, who is also recently awarded as an Asia-pacific outstanding leader.

“We have to continue our existing work on this disease effectively such as caring of AIDS/HIV infected people, prevention, stopping pandemic, education and omitting all kinds of discrimination and stigma.”

The government has never forgotten victims, she added. “We all strongly thank all people who have continued to help the AIDS/HIV infected people and have promoted heath care and poverty reduction of those people.” She also urged to stop all private companies and NGOs, other institutions that forced the employees to test blood for AIDS/ HIV. “This act violates our law on AIDS/HIV,” she noted.

A second wave of AIDS/HIV infections are resulting from MSM—men who have sex with—from syringe use among drug addicts, and sex workers and entertainment workers, Nuth Sokhom, said senior minister in charge of National AIDS Authority.

AIDS/HIV prevalence has been reduced to 0.9 per cent among the adult population from a high of 2 percent in 1998, he said, adding that now 92 percent of HIV/AIDS–infected people receive treatment with medicine, and 70 percent of aids victims are child orphans, with over 44,371 HIV/AIDS-infected people getting help from society. “Each year we spend about US$45-50 million for HIV/AIDS work,” he said, adding that at the same time, “we promoted condom use to 90 percent.”

The Millennium Development Goal for AIDS has already been achieved and intensive work is underway to ensure Cambodia reaches its ambitions, but there are achievable universal access targets for HIV prevention, treatment and care by 2010, said Alice Levisay, representative of the United Nations Country Team on AIDS on Cambodia said. The UN is continuing to support the aids work in the country. We collectively owe this commitment to every woman and child in Cambodia, and we have intensified and accelerated efforts linkages to maternal and newborn and sexual and reproductive heath, she said in her speech.

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