PHNOM PENH, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has seen a remarkable decline in external stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV), according to a new survey on Wednesday.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
The survey was carried out last year in six selected provinces where a total number of 1,222 PLHIV were interviewed, including 476 males and 746 females, the report said, adding that it was the second survey after the first one was conducted in 2010.
The result showed that job discrimination or income loss for the PLHIV has dropped from 46 percent to 2 percent, while verbal harassment against them has declined from 14 percent to 3 percent, and discrimination by spouses or partners has gone down from 5 percent to 2.4 percent.
"We see that the external stigma against the PLHIV has remarkably declined, but the internal stigma, or self-stigma, due to shame, guilt and self-blame has slightly dropped," said Ieng Mouly, chairman of the National AIDS Authority.
The Southeast Asian country currently has approximately 70,000 people living with HIV/AIDs, and about 60,630 of them have received antiretroviral drugs, he said, adding that from the late 1990s to date, AIDS had killed around 100,000 Cambodians.
He said over the last two decades, the country had spent about 800 million U.S. dollars to respond to HIV/AIDS.
"As a result, Cambodia has succeeded in preventing 900,000 people from being infected," he said.
According to Mouly, Cambodia is committed to eliminating HIV/AIDS by 2025.
In Cambodia, the first HIV infection was detected and diagnosed in 1991 and the first AIDS case was confirmed in 1993.