This disseminate ion event is being organized by NACD and KHANA today on 11 June 2014, at
Himawari Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The event is commissioned by GFATM, Australian Aid and USAID. The Asia Action for Harm Reduction Project also supports the event to engage civilian police and gendarmes from the 12 targeted provinces and Phnom Penh and people who use drugs and inject drugs in their respective locations.
Approximately 90 representatives from the Provincial Drugs Control Committee, provincial Health Department, law enforcement and gendarmerie, the United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.
In the opening remarks, Dr. Oum Sopheap, KHANA Executive Director, said the findings in the report are the results of joint collaboration between civil society organizations and the Government, especially the National Authority for Combating Drugs, National Institute of Public Health, and NCHADS.
“The study finds that among 100 people who inject drugs, there are 24.8 percent are living with HIV and the number of HIV-infected women is higher,” said Dr. Chhea Chhorvann from the National Institute of Public Health. “There are only 4 percent are living with HIV among 100 people who use drug,” he added.
In the report illustrates that approximately 1,300 people who inject drugs and 13,000 non-injecting people nationwide.
Dr. Chhorvann said HIV prevalence among people who inject drug remains stable at around 25% while the prevalence among non-PWID increased if compared to Drug Users Survey 2007. He recommends that people who use drugs remain one of the most-at-risk groups in terms of HIV infection and they deserve more focus from HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs.
“The data of people who use are crucial for programming, planning and measuring our effects in combating HIV/AIDS among drug users,” said Dr. Sous Premprey, Health and HAARP from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Embassy in Cambodia.
“USAID is pleased to see the high commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia, under the leadership of the NACD and the Ministry of Health, to make methadone maintenance therapy and harm reduction interventions and HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services available to opium injectors,” said Pamela Teichman, USAID Senior Technical HIV/AIDS Prevention Advisor. “USAID encourages non-governmental organizations to contimue to play their vital role in collaborating with the Cambodian Government, in particular the NACD, NCHADS, and the National Mental Health Program,” she added.
“NCHADS welcomes and fully supports the efforts of all partners including KHANA and its implementing partners to combat HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Lan Van Seng, NCHADS deputy-director, in response to USAID.
Dr. Lieutenant General Meas Vyrith, NACD Secretary-General, said that the findings in the report is important for health supports to victims of drug use. In the upcoming drug event, he said the event theme might be “We, together, help prevent HIV/AIDS and rescue the victims of drug use.” He recommends that adhering to human rights in implementing the programs is indispensable.