Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Nuth Sokhom, Senior Minister
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
DR. NUTH SOKHOM, Senior Minister and Chairperson of the National AIDS Authority of Cambodia, said his country had achieved Millennium Development Goal 6 on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, largely due to support and funding from friendly countries, development partners, civil society and the United Nations. Key elements in that achievement included the creation of a National AIDS authority in 1999, a 2002 Law on HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control, reductions in stigmas against persons living with HIV and other vulnerable communities, and the establishment of clear policies and strategies to address most at-risk populations. Further, support from the Global Fund had allowed Cambodia to scale up its prevention, care, treatment and support programmes toward the country’s universal access target. Consequently, HIV prevalence among the adult population had decreased from 2 per cent in 1998 to 0.7 per cent in 2010. More than 80 per cent of the most at-risk population consistently used condoms and 90 per cent of persons living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy, among other successes.
Despite its success in controlling the first waves of HIV and AIDS, Cambodia was concerned about underlying determinants of the emerging second waves, he said. Among other things, the Cambodian Government faced challenges from a number of fast-evolving conditions to which the most at-risk populations were exposed. Those included difficulties in implementing the 100 per cent Condom Use Programme among entertainment workers, increases in the number of men having sex with men and transgendered persons, rising numbers of drugs users, and higher numbers of migrants. However, Cambodia had developed seven strategic areas for its Third National Strategic Plan for Comprehensive and Multi-sectoral Response 2011-2015 and seven national working groups had been set up. It was also using the “three ones” principle of UNAIDS — one national AIDS authority, one national strategic framework and one national monitoring and evaluation system — to achieve the “three zeros” strategy — namely, zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination. In that context, he requested bilateral and multilateral support, including from the Global Fund, to combat the second waves of HIV and AIDS in his country.