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Cambodia orders probe into 'HIV village'
01:34 - Source: CNN

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Illegal doctors often the only option for medical care in rural Cambodia

UNAIDS estimates there are 76,000 people living with HIV in Cambodia

CNN  — 

An unlicensed Cambodian doctor has been jailed for 25 years after being convicted of infecting more than 100 people with HIV, according to Cambodian media reports.

Yem Chroeum was found guilty of infecting people in northwestern Battambang province with HIV by reusing dirty needles, the Phnom Penh Post reported Thursday.

The case has highlighted a problem in many parts of rural Cambodia, where illegal doctors are often the only option for medical care.

According to the Ministry of Health, almost 4,000 illegal health-service providers are still operating in the country.

Panicked residents of Rokar village, where Chroeum was based, sought testing after reports of infections emerged in December 2014.

Charges against the illegal doctor included intentionally transmitting the HIV virus and running a clinic without permission from the Ministry of Health.

UNAIDS estimates there are 76,000 people living with HIV in Cambodia. The country has been widely praised for its progress in tackling AIDS.

New HIV infections have dropped by 67% from 3,500 in 2005, to 1,300 in 2013, according to UNAIDS.

Unlicensed doctor charged in HIV outbreak in Cambodia