Cambodian Health Ministry, Australian HIV Research Center, Roche Launch Treatment Access Project for Cambodia
The Cambodian Ministry of Health, the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales in Australia and drug maker Roche on Tuesday launched the Cambodian Treatment Access Project in an attempt to increase access to antiretroviral drugs, conduct research and train local health professionals in the country, Reuters/AlertNet reports (Reuters/AlertNet, 9/16). The project, which is designed to provide a framework for comprehensive training and research in HIV care, will include screening, counseling, laboratory monitoring, clinical care, preventative treatment for opportunistic infections and antiretroviral therapy in the capital of Phnom Penh and a provincial town, according to a program release. The program will enroll 800 HIV-positive people over 24 months (CTAP release, 9/16). Roche has agreed to fund the initiative and provide free-of-charge diagnostic tests; its antiretroviral drug, Invirase; and antiretroviral drugs from other companies, so that patients have access to combination therapy (Reuters/AlertNet, 9/16). Through the partnership, the groups hope to increase access to HIV care, develop research centers, train local health workers, evaluate the delivery of HIV care in outpatient settings, support the development of national HIV guidelines and policy and provide and disseminate research to others (CTAP release, 9/16). The World Health Organization estimates that 170,000 Cambodians were HIV-positive by the end of 2001, but the organization has warned that the estimate may be low because of unreported cases (Reuters/AlertNet, 9/16). The Cambodian government estimates that the country will have 230,000 HIV-positive people by 2010 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.