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HIV outbreak in Cambodian village sparks investigation

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PHNOM PENH – An outbreak of HIV in a village in north-western Cambodia prompted an investigation, an official said on Wednesday, as news media reported allegations of contaminated medical equipment.
A UN health official told newsmen that the National AIDS Authority of Cambodia (NAAC) was investigating after 90 people aged 4 to 80 were found to carry HIV in Battambang province’s in Roka community.
NAAC Secretary-General, Teng Kunthy said that the officials have alleged that a local health care worker used the same syringe on many people, spreading the virus.
Suspicions were aroused when an elderly couple tested positive earlier this month.
UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Marie-Odile Emond said that the news of the outbreak spread, prompting hundreds to seek testing.
“Knowing your status is important, because treatment is available in Cambodia and it is free.
“The prevalence in Battambang was unusually high.
“That is why the investigation is happening and to ensure that proper practices are applied,’’ Emond.
According to UNAIDS figures for 2013, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS was 0.7 per cent among people aged between 15 and 49 in Cambodia, with about 75,000 people infected around the country. (dpa/NAN)

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