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Gov’t to spend $11 million in AIDS fight

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National AIDS Authority (NAA) chairman Ieng Moly is speaking at the Kampong Speu Provincial Hall on Monday. National AIDS Authority

Gov’t to spend $11 million in AIDS fight

The government will spend $11 million on antiretroviral (ARV) in the next three years to treat AIDS-related illnesses and prevent transmission.

More than 60,000 patients have already received treatment from the medicine.

Speaking at the Kampong Speu Provincial Hall on Monday, National AIDS Authority (NAA) chairman Ieng Moly said the government policy is meant to encourage ministries and institutions to fight the disease.

“Currently, a budget package to respond to AIDS is narrower,” he said.

Moly said the fight against the disease is being transferred to sub-national authorities, and management is the duty of provincial administrations. NAA also put AIDS patients on the poverty list so they get social security cards to receive government cash handouts.

Hor Bun Leng, deputy director of the National AIDS Programme, told The Post on Tuesday that spending in response to AIDS-positive people and AIDS patients has decreased since 2017. The decrease is attributed to success against fighting AIDS in Cambodia while budgetary aid was diverted to other sectors.

“In 2017, Cambodia spent $50 million a year to respond to HIV, including national and international aid. In 2020 there is only $20 million,” he said.

Cambodia had roughly 73,000 AIDS-positive citizens last year, 780 new infections and 1,300 AIDS-related deaths.

He said Cambodia can prevent AIDS and bring the virus under control successfully. The rate of AIDS-positive people aged 15-49 has decreased from 1.6 per cent in 1998 to 0.5 per cent this year.

“But what still worries us is four per cent of the gay population and 15.2 per cent of intravenous drug users were positive in 2019,” he said.

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