HEADLINES Published February23, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

Cambodia Confronts HIV Epidemic

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A person being tested for HIV.
(Photo : Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images )

Cambodia is currently experiencing an HIV outbreak allegedly caused by an unlicensed doctor reusing dirty needles on patients.

Villagers from Peam have since been in a rush to get to a group of health officials who are taking blood samples for HIV screening.  Most of them anxious to find out if they are infected by the virus especially considering that majority of the people go to the alleged unlicensed doctor to get vaccinated.

Kouy Bunthoeun, director of the provincial health department has since confirmed that from the past week, a significant number of people coming from the Peam village have been reported to have HIV. This led the director and his department to conduct a mass HIV screening to find out if majority of the villagers are infected and to find out the source of the outbreak

"I received information from an organization yesterday that 14 people tested positive for HIV, but I am not sure because we are now collecting the data and testing the blood of the villagers," quipped Bunthoeun.

Following the startling discovery, the village doctor named Sok Thornn was automatically thrust into the spotlight since some reports claim that the doctor allegedly use dirty needles in vaccinating his patients.

Dr. Thornn has remained adamant about his innocence. According to him, he is a well-trained and educated doctor. By no means would he in his right mind use methods that might spread a disease like HIV.

"Please give me the names of the people you interviewed today and I will give it to my lawyer because they have defamed me," added Thornn.

World Bank figures states that Cambodia is one of the countries that have the lowest rate for health care which has the ratio of 0.2 doctors against 100,000 people which explains how easy it was for an outbreak to start. 

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