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HIV/AIDS Mass infection causes panic in Cambodian village

The victims, residents of the Roka community in Battambang province, are believed to have been infected by contaminated needles.

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A Cambodian doctor offers anti retro viral drugs to a woman living with HIV/AIDS play

A Cambodian doctor offers anti retro viral drugs to a woman living with HIV/AIDS

(Yahoo News)

Panic has broken out in a village in North-Western Cambodia after about 80 people tested positive for HIV/AIDS.

The victims, residents of the Roka community in Battambang province, are believed to have been infected by contaminated needles.

“Of 556 people tested, 72 of them came back positive for HIV/AIDS,” the Secretary General of the National AIDS Authority, Teng Kunthy told AFP.

“This is a higher rate than usual... It may be caused by the use of the same tools such as needles. This is our preliminary conclusion... we are working to collect more evidence,” he added.

Many villagers rushed to a health centre to get tested after the news broke and 10 more people were found to be infected with the virus on Tuesday, December 16.

Hei Sik, a local HIV/AIDS program director, told AFP:

“According to villagers, they suspected the infection may have been caused by injections from private local medics. This is a surprisingly high rate, the highest that I have ever seen. Some of them are women aged in their 70s and 80s.”

Authorities are currently investigating the outbreak in the country which is estimated to have about 75,000 people living with HIV/AIDS.

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