UNAIDS is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Ly Penh Sun

UNAIDS is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Ly Penh Sun, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD (NCHADS) Cambodia, who passed away on 9 November 2021. UNAIDS expresses its sincere condolences to his family, his friends and the country.

Ly Penh Sun was instrumental to the success of the commendable HIV response in Cambodia. He spearheaded and strived towards the last mile of ending AIDS through listening to science and embracing innovations. Under his leadership and in close partnership with civil society, Cambodia set the historical milestones of being one of the first countries globally to achieve 90-90-90 targets in 2017. Together, they set the ‘zero to roll-out PrEP’ model in the region, introduced HIV self-testing and scaled-up multi-month dispensing of ARV treatment to mitigate service disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“His leadership championed the welfare of people living with HIV and supported communities to be meaningfully involved in the HIV response,” says Khin Cho Win Htin, UNAIDS Country Director a.i. for Cambodia. Ly Penh Sun worked tirelessly to confront HIV-related stigma and discrimination and was a trendsetter for community engagement and people centred approaches. As part of his work, he supported community-led service delivery for HIV prevention tailored to the needs of key populations.

“Ly Penh Sun was a tireless champion for HIV prevention in Cambodia and Asia and the Pacific. He was very influential in the region. He has always promoted and fostered partnership, South-to-South collaboration and sharing of best practices and knowledge. He will forever be remembered as the friend of the community, an innovator and a legend of the AIDS response in Cambodia,” said Taoufik Bakkali, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. “He will stay in the memory of the UNAIDS family forever.”

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