Phnom Penh (dpa) – An outbreak of HIV in a village in north-western Cambodia prompted an investigation, an official said Wednesday, as news media reported allegations of contaminated medical equipment.
The National AIDS Authority of Cambodia (NAAC) was investigating after 90 people aged four to 80 were found to carry HIV in Battambang province’s Roka commune, a UN health official told dpa.
Officials have alleged that a local health care worker used the same syringe on many people, spreading the virus, NAAC secretary-generalTeng Kunthy was quoted as saying by the Cambodia Daily.
Suspicions were aroused when an elderly couple tested positive earlier this month.
News of the outbreak spread, prompting hundreds to seek testing, UNAIDS country coordinator Marie-Odile Emond said.
“Knowing your status is important, because treatment is available in Cambodia and it’s free.”
The prevalence in Battambang was unusually high, she said. “That’s why the investigation is happening and to ensure that proper practices are applied.”