The National AIDS Authority and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have appealed for support to help eradicate HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom by 2025.
The call was made at a ceremony to mark World AIDS Day in Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich Exhibition Hall on Saturday.
Chhim Sarath, AHF Cambodia chief, on Saturday said that this year’s World AIDS Day theme Know Your Status is aimed at keeping to commitments to eradicate the disease.
He said that there are currently about 60,000 people suffering from HIV in Cambodia and most of them are receiving care from the foundation.
“Through our cooperation with the government, especially the National AIDS Authority, we are proud to announce that more than half of all HIV sufferers in Cambodia are being cared for by AHF,” Mr Sarath said. “We hope that this World AIDS Day will make more people aware of the fight against the disease in Cambodia and the world.”
National AIDS Authority chairman Ieng Mouly said during the event that Cambodia is celebrating the 25th year of World AIDS Day and the authority appeals to everyone to join forces to help end AIDS by 2025.
“For more than two decades, we have together achieved a reduction in HIV transmission rates, reduced the mortality rate of HIV/AIDS and reduced the stigma of discrimination against sufferers,” he said. “This has given us a real hope that we can eradicate the disease by 2025.”
He also pointed out that AHF is operating mobile vans to move around the country to test people for the disease.
According to a report by AHF Cambodia, the foundation organised World AIDS Day to mark its achievement of taking care of millions of HIV/AIDS sufferers globally by giving them access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, noting however that millions more still desperately need it.
The report added that even though HIV/AIDS is now treatable and preventable, almost 37 million people worldwide are still living with the disease.
It said that there are one million new infections annually worldwide and an estimated 940,000 people still die from HIV/AIDS-related causes every year.
AHF is urging the G20 group of nations, which accounts for 85 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and 80 percent of world trade, to keep the most pressing public health matters high on its agenda and push for more global funding to fight diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The foundation’s president Michael Weinstein said that although nearly 37 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide only about half receive treatment, which shows that the world still needs progress in achieving its goal of providing universal treatment.
“The budget to fight HIV/AIDS has dropped over the last six years,” he said. “If we really want to keep on succeeding, global leaders must keep their promise to make the fight against AIDS a priority and ensure that global funding is adequate.
In a report last year, UNAIDS said that Cambodia is ahead of every country in Asia and the Pacific in its fight against HIV/AIDS.
The report said that there are 57,000 people living with HIV in the country who have access to antiretroviral therapy, representing 80 percent of all people estimated to be infected.