HIV village: One more dies in Roka commune

By: Pech Sotheary

Another person in Battambang’s Roka commune died from complications relating to HIV/AIDS yesterday afternoon, marking the latest fatality in a locale that has suffered from a widespread outbreak of the virus discovered late last year.

Roka commune chief Sim Pov said that Tat Choy, 89, was pronounced dead at 1:30pm.

“She died at home on Monday,” she said. “She took medicine regularly, but she was very old.”

More than 200 people in the commune have been affected by the virus, and thus far eight people have succumbed to the illness. Health officials have been consistently monitoring the residents’ conditions and providing them with anti-retroviral treatment (ART), said Voeung Bunreth, the director of Battambang’s Provincial Health Department.

“We have provided them with drugs and they are doing OK, though the elderly are concerned about their reactions,” he said. “But we have explained to them to take the drugs regularly.”

Officials have said that elderly HIV/AIDS-positive persons are at higher risk due to the increased likelihood of co-infections. The Roka outbreak has been traced to the alleged reuse of contaminated needles by an unlicensed doctor.

SOUREC: THE PHNOM PENH POST