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A woman signs on a board during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign on the World AIDS Day. (IANS)

212 Cambodian villagers infected with HIV as unlicensed doctor re-used needles

At least 212 villagers have been infected with HIV in Cambodia’s Battambang province as an unlicensed doctor re-used syringes and spread the disease in the area, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) after a study last month.

“From Dec 8-31, 2014, a total of 1,940 people from Roka commune voluntarily undertook HIV testing and counseling and 212 people tested positive,” a joint statement of WHO with the government health ministry said.

“Among the 212 HIV carriers, 39 people are below 14 years old, 127 are between 15 to 59 years old and 46 people are 60 years old and above,” it said.

Locals in the commune flocked to a health centre to have their blood tested for HIV since Dec 8 after a 74-year-old man, who tested positive for the virus in November, alerted others who used to receive medical treatment from an unlicensed doctor to get tested.

Villagers now blame the outbreak of HIV virus in the area on the unlicensed doctor, Yem Chrin, 56, who they said used unsterilised needles and reused syringes on patients.

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