Cambodian government on Wednesday launched a National Strategic Plan (NSP) for a comprehensive and multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS for 2006-2010.
Though the government is proud of the achievement in fighting the epidemic in order to reduce the prevalence rate from 3 percent in 1997 to 1.9 percent in 2003, "it is still high prevalence rate if we compare to the region," said Hong Sun Huot, chairman of National AIDS Authority (NAA).
"In fact, it is not mean that Cambodia can completely protecting HIV transmission, and today HIV was spreading to the remote area of the country. Especially, it has reached the family, housewives and children," he added.
Women are now almost four times more likely than men to be among the newly infected. Over the last five years, 85,000 Cambodian men, women and children have lost their lives to AIDS, according to Douglas Gardner, the UN Resident Coordinator.
Despite Cambodia's success in addressing the epidemic, HIV/AIDS still has the potential to significantly impede the social and economic development of the country and contribute to the poverty gap, Hong Sun Huot said.
Now more than ever the national response needs to be multisectoral, decentralized, and integrated with broader development goals. HIV/AIDS must be on everyone's agenda, he pointed out.
The government is trying to increase the national budget for prevention HIV/AIDS epidemic activity, and included donation amount 37 million U.S. dollars per year, even though the national budget was limited, said Hong Sun Huot.