How the residents of Cambodia’s ‘HIV village’ are coping more than two years on

On the outskirts of Cambodia’s Battambang province, down a broken dirt road bleached white by the sun, Prum Ly is waiting within the walls of her hut to die. Outside in the afternoon heat, half-starved chickens scrabble in the dirt, stripped to the skin by some nameless wasting. In December 2014, it began to emerge that 292 people in Roka village had been unknowingly infected with HIV by Yem Chrin, an unlicensed medic who treated many families in the area. Today, supported by the Ministry of Health and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, those infected remain locked in a limbo of monthly medication, tethered to their local health centre through a strict regimen of anti-retrovirals that leaves them listless, sweating and sick. 

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