Published: Thursday 31 October 1996

After suffering years of war and tyranny, the Cambodians are facing a new threat: an aids epidemic . An alarming rise in aids cases has been recorded ever since screening for the disease began in 1991. According to the World Health Organization ( who) , an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 hiv cases have been recorded in Cambodia against 50,000-90,000 cases registered last November. In addition, who says the country has now around 2,000 full-blown aids cases and maintains that by the turn of the century there will be 40,000 cases, with up to 12,000 new cases every year.

Experts believe that the disease is spreading faster in Cambodia than in any other nation in Asia, with the exception of Burma and India. They have warned that unless the authorities take immediate steps to check the disease it would result in devastation similar to the one witnessed during the Pol Pot regime.

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