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Man Charged for Causing HIV Outbreak in Patients

FILE - An HIV-positive patient rests at the Khmer-Soviet Hospital in Phnom Penh, Nov. 29, 2011.

A man in Battambang province as been arrested and charged with spreading HIV, infecting at least 140 people in what authorities Monday called “cruel murder.”

Yem Chrin, 55, had been detained and questioned since last Wednesday and was charged Monday, following an investigation into the outbreak, in Rokar commune.

Police say Yem Chrin was operating an unlicensed clinic and was not licensed as a doctor.

“He confessed to using the same syringe and sometimes the same needle,” Sar Thet, Battambang police chief, said.

The 140 cases have been confirmed HIV positive by the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh.

Mean Chhivun, director of the National AIDS Authority, said many elderly are among those infected and an investigation continues to learn the extent of the outbreak.