Network of Diagnostic Laboratories Needed To Combat HIV/AIDS, U.S., Cambodian Officials Say
A strong network of diagnostic laboratories is necessary in the fight against AIDS, U.S. and Cambodian officials said on Monday at a weeklong conference on upgrading and improving laboratories in Southeast Asia, AP/Yahoo! News reports. The conference, held in Cambodia and sponsored by the country's Ministry of Health and CDC, includes scientists from Australia, the United States, Germany, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. According to U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Charles Ray, the most important piece of infrastructure needed to improve HIV/AIDS treatment and care in the region is a "strong laboratory network that can provide the necessary diagnostic test." Cambodian Health Secretary Dr. Mam Bun Heng added that improving laboratory facilities and developing staff skills are "crucial to support diagnosis, survey and research activities." CDC has worked with Cambodia's Health Ministry to develop a national laboratory database management system to expand quality control systems to improve blood safety. According to UNAIDS, there are currently about 170,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. The country has an adult prevalence of 2.6% -- one of the highest in the region. At least 15,000 people in Cambodia died from AIDS-related causes last year, according to AP/Yahoo! News (Leitsinger, AP/Yahoo! News, 7/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.