An outbreak of HIV in the remote, western Cambodian village of Roka in Battambang province is most due to contaminated equipment used by an unlicensed doctor in the province, according to a joint World Health Organization (WHO)/Cambodia Ministry of Health (MOH) statement Saturday.


According to the statement, “The study showed that the percentage of people that reported receiving an injection or intravenous infusion as part of their health treatment was significantly higher among the people who tested positive for HIV than the people who were HIV negative.”

In addition the agencies report, “From Dec. 8 to 31, 2014, a total of 1,940 people from Roka commune voluntarily undertook HIV testing and counseling and 212 people tested positive for HIV. Among the 212 HIV carriers, 39 people are below 14 years old, 127 are between 15 and 59 years old and 46 people are 60 years old or older.”

In fact, 82 percent of the positive tests (172) were from Roka villagers.

The unlicensed physician, Yem Chhrin currently faces a number of charges to include murder and could face life in prison.

Mam Bunheng, Cambodia’s Health Minister noted: “We have reinforced implementation of the Ministry of Health policy to stop unlicensed informal medical practices.”