PM’s Appeal for Attention to HIV/AIDS

AKP Phnom Penh, May 23, 2018 –Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen this morning appealed to the youth to pay attention to HIV/AIDS due to possible recurrence of this epidemic.

“You should have a blood test before your marriage,” said Samdech Techo Hun Sen while visiting nearly 20,000 workers and employees from 17 factories and enterprises in Chbar Mon city of Kampong Speu province.

The Premier also advised all young men and women to be faithful to their partner to avoid the HIV infection.

A new UNAIDS report on the global HIV epidemic found out that 57,000 of Cambodian living with HIV are accessing antiretroviral therapy in Cambodia, which is 80% of all people estimated to be living with HIV. This is more people than ever before and the highest HIV treatment coverage for Asia and the Pacific. It is a huge achievement for a country, which had one of the fastest-growing AIDS epidemics in the region 20 years ago.

According to the National AIDS Authority, the treatment scale up is due to the political leadership and commitment of the government of Cambodia which has made ending AIDS a top public health priority. The government has decentralised HIV services which are now available even in remote rural areas.

Cambodia is one of only seven countries worldwide to have already achieved the 90-90-90 targets (90% of people knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their status accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment being virally suppressed) which translates into 73 percent of all people living with HIV being virally suppressed (that means that their viral load it is almost undetectable and the likelihood of onward HIV transmission is minimal).

The 90-90-90 targets are included in the country’s national HIV strategy for 2016-2020. With technical assistance from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation, Cambodia is undertaking a comprehensive effort to strengthen its national HIV strategic information system and link all HIV-related databases within a single system. This enhanced data system will play a key role in identifying and closing gaps in testing and treatment and ensure progress toward reaching the national goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2025, five years earlier than the target in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

By Khan Sophirom