Bill Clinton praised Cambodia's efforts in fighting
HIV/AIDS and pledged Monday to work with the government to
expand treatment for children living with the disease.
''I think that
the leadership you have shown...gives us hope that
Cambodia can be a model for the rest of Asia and perhaps for
the rest of the world,'' Clinton said after meeting
with Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Hun Sen said
Clinton's visit, part of a tour of AIDS-related projects and
organizations supported by the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS
Initiative, contributed ''great political and
psychological value'' to Cambodia's efforts to battle
AIDS and the discrimination against its victims.
Cambodia, one of
the world's poorest countries, has an HIV infection rate
of 1.9% for people ages 15-49, among the highest in
Southeast Asia. The rate has been significantly
reduced from 3% in 1997.
children under the age of 15 live with HIV or AIDS in
Cambodia, out of a total 123,000 people who are either
infected with the virus or have the full-blown
Clinton signed a
memorandum for the foundation to expand and to continue
supporting pediatric treatment of HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. He
also called for more education to raise awareness
among young people about how the disease is
transmitted and can be prevented.
from the Clinton Foundation, which established its
presence in Cambodia in June 2005, the number of children
there receiving treatment for HIV or AIDS has
increased from 400 to more than 1,200 within the past
year, according to the organization's Web site.
Clinton was made an honorary tribal chief during a visit to
Papua New Guinea to promote HIV/AIDS charities in the
impoverished South Pacific nation. (AP)