Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 30, 2004

110179202454680526

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 1:19 pm

No Plan For Mandatory HIV Screening

TUMPAT, Nov 29 (Bernama) — Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad has dismissed suggestions for mandatory screening of pregnant mothers for HIV, saying the present tests at maternity clinics can adequately screen all diseases.
“These preliminary tests can detect whether a pregnant mother is infected with HIV, and we can then take the necessary steps including medication to reduce the risk of transmission to the baby,” he told reporters.
A total of 1.8 million mothers nationwide have undergone these tests, he said.
Official figures show some 58,000 HIV patients in Malaysia, mostly male drug addicts aged 20-39, but the number of sexually transmitted HIV patients is on the rise.
Dr Abdul Latiff was asked to comment on the reported plan by the Singapore government to make HIV screening for pregnant mothers compulsory following a rise in HIV cases in the republic.
The Sunday Times reported that if a woman is tested positive and receives medication, the risk of transmission can be reduced from 25 percent to two percent.

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