Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is responsible for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
In Cambodia, HIV/AIDS epidemic is an important public health problem; in particularly, because of possible co-infections of patients whose immunity is diminished due to HIV. It is estimated that 0.6% of general population is living with HIV. The country has made a significant progress in fighting against HIV/AIDS with: 1/ 67% drop in new HIV infections, from 3,500 in 2005 to 1,300 in 2013; 2/ increased access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment; currently, more than two-thirds of 75,000 people living with HIV receive this treatment (which is to be taken for life because it does not allow permanent eradication of the virus); 3/ and improved detection of HIV in pregnant women through the use of rapid tests at antenatal clinics and antiretroviral therapy to prevent the transmission of the virus to their newborn babies. Currently, nearly 80% of HIV-carrying pregnant women in Cambodia are receiving this prophylaxis.
To date, there is no effective vaccine against this highly genetically variable virus.
Hepatitis refers to any acute or chronic inflammation of liver. Some viruses are responsible for hepatitis and are referred to as Hepatitis A Virus (HAV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Hepatitis D Virus (HDV or Delta Virus) and Hepatitis E Virus (HEV). These viruses are extremely and genetically different in terms of transmission modes and severity of liver disease. Diagnosis of these infections requires specific serological and/or molecular tools. There is an effective vaccine against HBV; whereas, there is no vaccine against HCV. New antiviral medicines will definitely treat hepatitis C in three months of taking medicines (at current price of less than USD 400 in Cambodia).
In Cambodia, the national prevalence figures for HBV, HCV and HEV are poorly documented, with respectively 5-10% for HBs antigen, 3-5% for HCV antibodies and 28-30% for anti-HEV IgG.
In Cambodia, the risk of liver cancer is significant in cases of HBV and HCV infections, non-existent with HAV, and unknown for HEV. Since 2002, a systematic vaccination of HBV for infants has been practiced in Cambodia with injection within 24 hours of life and three doses within 6, 10 and 14 weeks of life. The vaccination coverage rate is estimated at 85% according to the national authorities.
For several years, the IPC has been conducting clinical, virological and immunological researches with aim to characterize viruses and improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and virological follow-up of adults and children infected with these viruses. These researches have led to changes in national and international recommendations (WHO) for the benefits of patients.