The USAID- and PEPFAR-supported EpiC Cambodia team is mourning the loss of Dr. Ly Penh Sun, who passed away early in the morning of 9 November 2021. Dr. Sun was appointed Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Infections (NCHADS) in 2015. He was a member of NCHADS staff for many years, initially heading the Technical Bureau in charge of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation. Then, he went on to become the Chief of Surveillance and Research, then Deputy Director, and finally Director. His efforts and leadership in each of these key positions lead to Cambodia’s HIV prevention and care efforts being recognized in 2017 by UNAIDS as having achieved the 90 90 90 targets.
Dr. Sun did not stop there. He recently had introduced HIV self-testing, PrEP, multi-month antiretroviral (ARV) scripting, same day start of ARV, testing and transitioning to dolutegravir-based regimens as first line therapies. He was in the process of modernizing NCHADS’ HIV-related databases to better use data for program improvement and more timely decision making. On the day he passed, he was with the EpiC team in Siem Reap Province promoting PrEP and its contribution to ending HIV in Cambodia.
Dr. Sun, apart from his HIV leadership, was known as a kind and caring health professional. He will be sorely missed by not only his wife and children but also by NCHADS and EpiC families who worked so closely with him in his efforts to end Cambodia’s HIV epidemic.