Gov’t commits to HIV goals

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NAA chair Ieng Mouly said the Fifth National Strategic Plan was designed with a vision to end HIV/AIDS by 2025. FRESH NEWS

The National AIDS Authority (NAA) announced the official launch of the Fifth National Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive, Multi-Sectoral Response to HIV/AIDS 2019-2023 to demonstrate the political will to achieve the UN’s 95-95-95 goal and ending the threat of HIV/AIDS by 2025.

The goal was issued by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in the hope that by 2030, 95 per cent of HIV positive patients will know they have HIV, 95 per cent of patients who know they have HIV will receive treatment, and 95 per cent of HIV patients receiving treatment will show reduced viral loads (lower amounts of the virus in a patient’s system).

The NAA Facebook page said the launch event was attended by the chairman, vice-chairman and representatives of the AIDS Committee, which is comprised of government officials. About 60 people gathered at the Phnom Penh Hotel and attended the event via the BlueJeans video network.

NAA chair Ieng Mouly said the Fifth National Strategic Plan was designed with a vision to end HIV/AIDS by 2025. It’s a strong expectation to build a new generation of human beings free of HIV and AIDS based on specific rules to work together, Mouly said.

According to the plan, interventions against HIV and AIDS based on scientific evidence will be introduced. Health systems will be equipped to provide care and treatment to those living with HIV and AIDs, and social services will be made more accessible.

Also, national and international budgets will be used to provide services implemented by civil society organisations to strengthen HIV/AIDS response.

NAA secretary-general Chhim Khin Dareth told The Post on Tuesday that Cambodia had announced its commitment to end HIV/AIDS by 2025, five years before the UNAIDS deadline. Cambodia achieved UNAIDS’ previous 90-90-90 goal in 2017, three years before the 2020 deadline.

“In this strategic plan, according to the government’s decision, there is a commitment to achieve the 95-95-95 goal. If we respond together under one body, one strategic plan and one monitoring and evaluation system [we can achieve it],” Khin Dareth said.

He said demographic estimates in Cambodia showed that there are currently about 73,000 people living with HIV in the Kingdom. Of that number, 84 per cent know they are HIV positive and have sought treatment. Of those who know they have HIV and are receiving treatment, 96 per cent have shown positive signs of recovery.