Materia Medica Malaysiana

December 1, 2007

Nation faces grim statistics

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:01 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: In less than 10 years, about 300,000 Malaysians are expected to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat said the estimate would become a reality by 2015 if no efforts were made to stop the spread of the disease.
Between 1986 and June this year, a total of 78,784 HIV cases were reported nationwide. More than 10,900 patients have died.
“The majority of HIV cases in our country are among intravenous drug users, who are infected through the sharing of contaminated needles.
“In the past five years, there has also been an increasing trend of HIV infection through sexual activities,” said Dr Ramlee yesterday.
He was launching the Best Practices of Youth Peer-to-Peer Education on Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Malaysia handbook at the Legend Hotel.
The handbook is a joint effort between the ministry and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) to document some of the country’s best peer education programmes.
It was launched in conjunction with the First National AIDS Conference on “Celebrating Youth Leadership in Action”.
Dr Ramlee said 18.2 per cent of HIV cases in 2002 were from sexual activities and this increased to 21.5 per cent in 2003, 23.3 per cent in 2004, 25.6 per cent in 2005 and 31.9 per cent last year.
“We want the youth to be empowered by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves,” he said.
Also present was Unicef East Asia and Pacific regional adviser for AIDS Wing-Sie Cheng, who announced that one of the world’s most popular football clubs, Manchester United, had recently contributed RM500,000 to Unicef through its “United for Unicef” partnership.
“The donation will be used to promote and enhance youth activities by six Prostar youth centres in Kedah and one in Perlis,” she said.
Prostar, or “Program Sihat Tanpa AIDS Untuk Remaja” (Healthy Living Without AIDS Programme for Youth), was set up in 2004 by the Health Ministry and Unicef.
It is to provide young people with a safe space to meet, have fun and access to peer-to-peer support and information on HIV and AIDS.

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