amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

TREAT Asia Mourns the Passing of Cambodian Network Investigator Dr. Ly Penh Sun


With the passing of Dr. Ly Penh Sun on November 9, 2021, we lost a regional champion for HIV prevention, care, and research. Dr. Sun was the Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS) of Cambodia, and had been a site investigator for amfAR’s TREAT Asia network and the IeDEA Asia-Pacific program since 2008.

Under his leadership, NCHADS expanded HIV diagnosis and treatment coverage, enabling Cambodia to become one of the first countries in the world to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 program targets in 2017. Dr. Sun and his team participated in network research activities addressing HIV outcomes in children and adults, co-authoring 40 publications. 


Dr. Ly Penh Sun with TREAT Asia Director Dr. Annette Sohn in 2015

More recently, Dr. Sun joined TREAT Asia and Columbia University to establish CHIMERA, a regional research training program to study the intersections between HIV and mental health using implementation science, supported by the US NIH. He had been mentoring program Fellows from his team to understand how to integrate mental health care into local HIV clinics in order to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of care for people living with HIV in Cambodia.

“With our network investigators across 13 countries, we remember Dr. Sun’s generous spirit, warm smile, and the many contributions he made to building and expanding HIV research in the region,” said Dr. Sohn. “He will be deeply missed.”

Dr. Sohn is quoted in an obituary for Dr. Sun published in The Lancet, February 5, 2022.


Dr. Ly Penh Sun (far left) with other mentors, faculty, and program leadership from the CHIMERA program, 2019


L-R: Members of the NCHADS team Dr. Ngauv Bora, Dr. Ly Penh Sun, Dr. Sameth Sovannarith, and Dr. Vohith Khol, with Dr. Jeremy Ross, Director of Research, TREAT Asia, 2020