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Doctor Who Caused Mass HIV Outbreak in Cambodia Sentenced to 25 Years

  • Hul Reaksmey

FILE - An HIV-positive patient rests at the Khmer-Soviet Hospital in Phnom Penh, Nov. 29, 2011.

FILE - An HIV-positive patient rests at the Khmer-Soviet Hospital in Phnom Penh, Nov. 29, 2011.

An unlicensed doctor who caused a mass outbreak of HIV in Cambodia's Battambang province through the re-use of infected needles has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Yem Chroeum, 55, was accused of reusing needles and syringes on patients in his unlicensed clinic, spreading the virus.

The Battambang court found him guilty of "running a clinic without a license from the Ministry of Health, intentionally causing HIV transmission to other people, and torture due to the deaths of victims that occurred in Sanke district's Roka commune, Battambang province, from 1996 to 2014."

Yem Chroeum was fined more than $1,200 and is barred from practicing health care.

In all, 119 people contracted HIV following services at his clinic, an investigation last year found. Many claimed he was a popular health care provider in their village.

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