The Slatest

More Than 100 People in One Cambodian Village Tested HIV Positive in a Single Week

Medication in a Cambodian community for AIDS and HIV patients.

Omar Havana/Getty

More than 100 people in a Cambodian village in the province of Battambang, including 19 children, have tested positive for HIV in the last week, Al-Jazeera reports. A doctor using dirty needles is suspected of causing the surge, though that explanation appears to be little more than a rumor at this point:

Teng Kunthy, secretary-general of the National AIDS Authority, said that as of Wednesday, 106 villagers in Roka Commune had been diagnosed with HIV since December 8…

Police are questioning an unlicensed doctor who has been accused by many in the community of about 9,000 people of spreading the disease by allegedly providing medical treatment to patients using the same needle.

The overall rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the country is actually relatively low—only 0.7 percent of Cambodians 15 to 49 have the virus, a rate more comparable to the United States than to somewhere like South Africa, where the disease rate in that segment is a staggering 19.1 percent.