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Cambodia Observes World AIDS Day

Thursday 12-01-05 is World AIDS Day and it is commemorated in Cambodia with the participation of sex workers, school children, Buddhis monks and government officials.

The ceremony takes place at the Wath Phnom recreation site. State Minister and National AIDS Authority of Cambodia's president, doctor Hong Sun Huot, says that even though new AIDS case is down in Cambodia, AIDS is still posing serious problems in this country, and should be considered a priority.

He says that AIDS has spread to the countryside, to housewives, children, societies and families. He adds that according to the National AIDS Authority of Cambodia's estimates, there are 42% cases of husbands giving AIDS to their wives, and that by 2010, if we will not have anti-viral drugs to prolong life, the number of people who will die of AIDS will be increased to 230,000.

Now, AIDS orphans are numbering more than 70,000 because their parents died of AIDS.

Mr. Rodney Hatfield works for the U.N.'s Children's Fund in Cambodia. He says even though the spread of HIV is down in Cambodia, but it is still a high rate for this continent.

Mr. Sok An, Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, says that poverty, illiteracy, gender gap, and the lack of responsibility in the families about AIDS are the causes of the spreading.