HIV/AIDS Epidemic among most at risk populations
Issues: The main risk of a second-wave of HIV infections occurring in Cambodia (i.e., significantly increased HIV incidence), is from female sex workers, their clients and sweethearts. MSM and drug users are potential significant contributors to any second-wave of HIV infections. The 2005 STI Sentinel Surveillance (SSS), which included for the first time an HIV behavioral and sero-surveillance component for MSM, indicated a concentrated epidemic among MSM (5.1% in three provincial sentinel sites and 8.7% in Phnom Penh City) with high rates of STI and low condom use, especially among MSM residing in rural areas.
Description: NGOs network coordination efforts under the umbrella of HACC; NGOs members should give highest priority to these MARPs, especially sex workers and their commercial and non-commercial partners. The focus of scale-up should not be extending the geographical scope of interventions to the whole country but rather ensuring high levels of coverage in areas where MARPs are concentrated. HACC play a greater role to better coordinate NGOs/CBOs to specifically focus on most at risk populations (MARPs). Those interventions are: Strengthening the capacity of NGOs to have input into the development of HIV/AIDS related policies and plans, enabling effective NGO sector implementation of the response to HIV/AIDS at the national, regional and local levels.
Lessons learned: Weakness in organizational capacity limits the ability to make best use of technical skills. NGOs/CBOs encounter impediments in implementing projects. The leadership, coordination, strategic planning, monitoring and regulatory needs to be considerable strengthening.
Next steps: To address the next phase of MARPs, it is important to: Gaining in reducing stigma and discrimination against PLHA and MARPs need to be sustained and improved. Significantly higher priority accorded to developing organizational capacity in NGOs/CBOs and further development of technical capacity. Improved governance and coordination.
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