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The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, has committed to stopping new HIV infections by 2020 and ensuring the sustainability of its HIV response. This comes as Cambodia allocates US$ 3.7 million of national funding to HIV treatment from 2015 to 2017. This is the first time that the government has earmarked funds for its treatment programme, which, owing to the large numbers of people receiving antiretroviral medicines, is where resources are most needed.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed the national commitment to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programmes during his meeting with the UNAIDS Director of the Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, Steve Kraus, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Prime Minister said “the government will not allow any successful programme to go bankrupt.” He further stressed that “the key to the nation’s success against HIV is a concerted effort by everyone, especially people infected and affected by HIV.”
The country’s progress in its AIDS response has already been internationally recognized. New HIV infections have dropped by 67%, from 3500 in 2005 to 1300 in 2013. More than two thirds of the 75 000 people living with HIV receive antiretroviral therapy, the highest percentage of treatment access in the region. Nearly 80% of mothers living with HIV have received treatment preventing HIV transmission to their children. However, challenges remain. There are high rates of HIV infection among key populations at higher risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, transgender people and entertainment workers. Gaps in access to HIV services persist.
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