Minister Speaks at Malaysian AIDS Summit

kuala lumpur – Minister of Wo­men’s Affairs Mu Sochua said the government must pass legi­slation and get funding to em­power women and thus help protect them from HIV transmission and discrimination.

Speaking at the 5th Inter­national Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific on Saturday, Mu So­chua said Cambodia should strengthen women’s economic in­dependence and assist widows whose husbands have died of AIDS. The minister is one of about 100 government officials and NGO representatives who are attending the seminar.

Deputy Director of Cam­bodia’s National AIDS Authority Dr Dy Narong Rith said here that Cambodia could set an example for the rest of the region with partnerships between NGOs and the government to combat HIV and AIDS.

Prime Minister Hun Sen in a letter to provincial governors earlier this month noted the rapid spread of AIDS and threw his support behind a program to enforce condom use at all brothels and sex-trade establishments. Results of the Sihanoukville program were good, he wrote, and the government is trying to find funds to support it nationwide.

Cambodia has one of the highest HIV transmission rates in Asia and an estimated 180,000 people who are HIV positive.

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