Fifth HIV-Positive Villager Dies in Roka Commune

A 73-year-old woman who was among the 236 villagers to test positive for HIV in Battambang province’s Roka commune died on Tuesday, commune officials said Wednesday.

Neach Ros died at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday after returning home from several days of treatment for a lung disease at the provincial hospital, according to deputy commune chief Kan Sambath.

“She died at her home last night because of a serious HIV infection and other diseases,” he said.

“She was very exhausted, powerless, and hopeless when she came back home from the provincial hospital.”

Neach Ros is the fifth HIV-positive person to die in Roka commune since an outbreak of the disease was identified there in December.

Three other elderly women and one baby have also died. Roka commune health center director By Beng Sor said that Neach Ros was taking a number of medicines and the mixture may have contributed to her death.

Officials have blamed the HIV outbreak on Yem Chrin, an unlicensed doctor who admitted to regularly reusing syringes and who faces life in prison on murder charges.

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