Officials Meet to Discuss HIV Outbreak Strategy

The first meeting to discuss a long-term strategy for dealing with last year’s freak outbreak of HIV in Battambang province’s Roka commune was held at the Council of Ministers building in Phnom Penh on Thursday, officials said.

Sok Pheng, a secretary of state at the Council of Ministers who led the meeting, said a committee that included Health Ministry officials met to discuss a plan to help those infected in Roka.

“The meeting was to work out ways to support and donate to the people who contracted the AIDS disease, long term,” he said.

More than 270 residents of Roka have tested positive for HIV since December, with officials blaming the epidemic on Yem Chrin, an unlicensed medic who admitted to regularly reusing syringes.

Mr. Chrin has been jailed on murder charges. By Beng Sor, chief of Roka commune’s health center, said he was happy that the new committee had met.

“In my opinion, if the Health Ministry or the government has a plan or strategy to help the people who contracted the HIV virus, this is good.”

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