Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Senior official warns public of ‘forgotten’ scourge of HIV, AIDS

Senior official warns public of ‘forgotten’ scourge of HIV, AIDS

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man distributes leaflets and condoms along the riverside in the capital’s Daun Penh district on Wednesday. Hong Menea

Senior official warns public of ‘forgotten’ scourge of HIV, AIDS

A senior National AIDS Authority (NAA) official warned that people seemed to have forgotten about the disease, and the virus that causes it, which he said are plaguing young people, especially men who have sex with men (MSM), to a worrying degree.

NAA deputy secretary-general Tea Phalla said HIV and AIDS have largely faded from the public’s mind with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Phalla made the remarks at the 23rd National Elite Programme on World AIDS Day, held on December 1 with the theme of “End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics”.

World AIDS Day is a reminder of the common global goal of eradicating AIDS and is aimed at renewing the commitment by the medical establishment to share new knowledge, skills and experiences to prevent the spread of HIV more effectively.

The day is also observed to show support and care for people living with AIDS and who are affected by AIDS and to promote access to a wider range of care and treatment services and social services for them.

“We see that members of the general public are busy with their normal routines and seemed to have forgotten about AIDS or think that it has gone away because only a small number of people still remember and take precautions against AIDS, while everyone feverishly protects themselves against Covid-19,” Phalla said.

He added that Cambodia has combated AIDS for about 30 years and the resources spent on the work totalled roughly $1 billion, but the fight was still far from over.

He continued that people infected with HIV had treatments available to them now that would extend their lives if they took good care of their health, but what worried him presently was the rate of transmission among Cambodia’s population of MSM, which was at minimum tens of thousands of people.

“That’s why we have to get them to come forward and receive treatment services like anti-HIV drugs. We have to try to help up to 10,000 people by 2023,” Phalla said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also sent out a message in observance of World AIDS Day.

“We all have to work harder to look for the 12,000 HIV-positive people who are unknown and who have yet to receive treatment and we must do more to prevent others from giving up on their treatment,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod