Cambodia jails unlicensed doctor for mass HIV infections
Dec 3, Phnom Penh: A Cambodian court has convicted an unlicensed doctor for infecting almost 300 people with HIV and sentenced him for 25 years in prison on Thursday.
Yem Chrin, 56, was found guilty of torture and cruel behaviour resulting in death, intentionally spreading HIV and practising medicine without a licence, a spokesman for the court in the northwestern province of Battambang said.
The court also found Chrin had reused dirty needles when treating patients in the village of Roka in north-western Battambang province. Ten of the villagers have died since the outbreak began, village officials said.
Yem Chrin's charge had been reduced from murder to manslaughter. He said he was only trying to help the community.
Unlicensed doctors provide care in many parts of rural Cambodia. Many are self-taught but poor medical facilities and funding mean they are often the only healthcare option for millions of Cambodians.
The number of people infected in the case has not been exactly determined. Estimates range from more than 100 to more than 270. The deaths of 10 people, mostly elderly, have been attributed to the infections.
Authorities detected the scale of the infections after a 74-year-old man tested positive for HIV in November last year, news reports said.
The Oslo Times