HIV/AIDS in Cambodia and the National Response

@UNESCO - Shadow Theater on HIV/AIDS

The first cases of HIV and AIDS in Cambodia were detected in 1991 and 1993. Since then, the Royal Government of Cambodia has been committed to responding to the epidemic and reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals, families, communities and the society.

The national response, led by the National AIDS Authority (NAA), created in 1999, has been a success, and the HIV prevalence fell from 2% in 1998 to 0.8% in 2010, according to the estimations published in the 2010 HIV Surveillance Survey.

The efforts of all stakeholders, including national authorities, development partners and NGOs, have been successful in reducing the HIV prevalence among general adult population. However, many challenges remain in order to avoid a second wave of the epidemic, which is now concentrated among most-at-risk populations (drug users, especially those who inject, entertainment workers and their clients, and men who have sex with men). As a consequence, efforts of stakeholders regarding prevention are now focused on Most-at-Risk Populations and their young cohort. Prevention for the general population, adults as well as young people, is necessary to keep this population at low risk of HIV infection.

The NAA leads and coordinates the national response and defines priorities for interventions with other stakeholders. Priorities are reflected in the National Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive and Multi-sectoral Response to HIV/AIDS 2011-2015. This plan defines the actions needed to respond to the needs of the population regarding prevention, care and treatment as well as impact mitigation.

The UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh, as lead UN agency for education, has been working with national authorities, especially the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport for several years to promote and implement HIV preventive education at various levels.

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