HIV/AIDS Prevalence in Cambodia Decreasing; Health Officials Predict Further Declines
HIV/AIDS prevalence in Cambodia has decreased from its all-time high in the late 1990s and health officials predict further declines in the near future, national media reported on Wednesday, Xinhuanet reports. Recent data collected by the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in 22 provinces and municipalities in the country indicate that less than 1% of people in Cambodia are living with HIV, compared with a prevalence that reached 3.3% in 1997. The data also found that an estimated 14% of female commercial sex workers are living with HIV/AIDS, compared with 43% in 1998. In addition, 1.1% of pregnant women so far this year are estimated to be HIV-positive, compared with 2.1% in 1998, according to the data.
According to NCHADS officials, the declines can be attributed to increased condom use and high treatment rates among people living with HIV/AIDS. NCHADS Director Mean Chhi Vun said that the data show that health officials have "successfully slowed down or controlled the HIV epidemic through prevention, care and treatment" (Xinhuanet, 8/20).