Monday, November 16, 2009

Progress against HIV at risk

CAMBODIA is considered one of the few success stories in the global fight against AIDS. HIV is on the decline: More than 2 percent of adults were affected in 1997; a decade later, HIV prevalence is 0.8 percent.

According to UNAIDS, “Cambodia provides evidence that well-focused and sustained prevention efforts can help reverse an HIV epidemic.”
Antiretroviral therapy is currently provided to around two-thirds of those who need it, up from 14 percent in 2004. Cambodia is also praised – and rightly so – for its progressive AIDS law protecting people living with HIV from discrimination. Those are impressive accomplishments.

Yet, human rights abuses against populations particularly vulnerable to HIV infection threaten the government’s success. The positive achievements of government health authorities and their partners have been outmatched in the past year by the negative actions of the police, Ministry of Social Affairs and municipal authorities; so far, health is losing. The real casualties have been among the most marginalised of Cambodians: those caught up in street sweeps, detained or forcibly evicted from Phnom Penh.

read more: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2009111629548/National-news/progress-against-hiv-at-risk.html

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