Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MSM and Youths Are Risk at HIV/AIDS in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The National AIDS Authority’s officials have announced that despite the rate of Cambodian people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS have declined but many people now are still facing with new wave of HIV/AIDS affection in the country.

H.E. Dr. Nuth Sokhom, Senior Minister and Chairman of the National AIDS Authority, said that event though the epidemic of HIV/AIDS has been decreased recently but it is still a main concern for Cambodian people and this problem is also affecting on development of human resources and the progress in the country.

“Despite the rate of people who has been affected by HIV/AIDS now declined but Cambodia is still worry about the outbreak of the second wave of disease epidemic especially for those who are high risk with this disease,” he said during his opening remarks at the “HIV/AIDS Prevention Workshop” on September 9th in Phnom Penh.

The Senior Minister pointed out that the risky groups who are now challenging with the second wave of HIV/AIDS outbreak included Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), youths, the men who have sex outside from their wives, and the girls or women who are serving at the entertainment places across the country.

According to a survey and report conducted by the National AIDS Authority, there are about 13.7 percent (equals 500,000 men) of men who have sex outside from their wives and this rate has increased up to 35 percent in Phnom Penh; there are from 17,000 to 36,000 girls and women working at the entertainment and pleasant places in Cambodia.

Relating to the condoms use, about 52 percent of men who have sex with their girlfriends have used condoms while 31 percent of women who served at entertainment places were pregnant and aborted for the past one year; and most of women who got sexual diseases did not go to get their treatments at health centres or clinics in cities and provinces.

Dr. Chea Sam An, Vice-Chairman of the National AIDS Authority (NAA), said MSM groups are risk at HIV/AIDS as they not used condoms for their sexual activities. He added that according to the NAA’s report, there are from 20,000 to 30,000 MSM throughout the country in which 8.7 percent of them got HIV affection in Cambodia.

To prevent and reduce the spreads of HIV/AIDS, he called on all people especially MSM people to us the condom while having sex in order to prevent themselves from being affected HIV/AIDS in the future. He encouraged the MSM groups to get their blood tests at the health centers, NGOs clinics or hospitals as they will be able to prevent their families from having HIV/AIDS affection in case they have the HIV-positive blood.

Dr. Sam An went on to say that to prevent and reduce the spreads of HIV/AIDS, the National AIDS Authority has established five strategies for the National Strategic Framework on HIV/AIDS and STT for MSM. The five strategies including prevent new HIV infections among MSM, mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on HIV positive MSM and their partners and their families, build and sustain an environment that supports HIV/AIDS and STI programs for MSM, strengthen the capacity of partners, and improve the collection and the use strategic information. ///

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