Materia Medica Malaysiana

December 2, 2007

Practise safe sex, says Chua

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:25 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Practise safe sex and be faithful to your partner.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek gave this advice in view of the rising number of HIV infections in the country due to unsafe sexual practices.
“Abstinence is still the best way. And be faithful to your partner,” he told reporters after opening the First National AIDS Conference and launching the national-level World AIDS Day here yesterday.
“It also boils down to both partners being responsible. Do not blame anybody,” added Dr Chua, who was representing Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said recent statistics showed that the number of infections due to sexual intercourse had increased from 18.2% in 2002 to 31.9% last year, although the number of daily infections had been reduced from 19 five years ago to 13 currently.
“Anyone can be a source. We still need to be careful,” he warned, adding that the increasing number of women being infected with the virus was worrying, saying it had increased from 4% to 15% in the last 10 years and normally affecting those aged between 20 and 35.
Dr Chua said among the reasons for the increase was the lack of understanding Malaysians had about HIV.
“They may not understand that you can get infected because of a one-night stand,” he said.
There were 78,784 infections reported from 1986 to June this year and 10,909 have died.
Asked about a recent study that showed 36% of respondents supported a “quarantine” policy for people living with HIV, Dr Chua said the Government would not institute such a programme.
In his speech read out by the Health Minister, Najib said new approaches were needed to increase the effectiveness of control and prevention so it would reach the target groups.
“Through good surveillance, the high-risk groups and relevant factors can be identified,” he said.
“Besides this, it is important for everyone who is at risk to know their HIV status or the individual to know that they are at risk.”

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