Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 1, 2008

Call to carry condoms

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:30 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: In view of the rising number of women contracting HIV, every woman should carry a condom with her for her own protection, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.
“This is not to debase them but to protect them. Women are the first ones to get exploited by their partners. But this is just a suggestion, it’s up to them,” he told the press after delivering his speech at the International AIDS Memorial Day here yesterday.
It was the first time that the International AIDS Memorial Day was celebrated openly in Malaysia. The celebration was attended by about 1,000 people.
According to Health Ministry figures, 745 women contracted HIV last year. It is a slight dip compared to 2006 (875), but the general trend is that the numbers are on the rise.
As for AIDS cases, 193 women were diagnosed with the syndrome, and 131 women died from it, while in 2006, 222 women were diagnosed positive and 80 died from it.
Malaysian AIDS Council president Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said apart from sex workers, many women who contracted HIV were housewives, infected unknowingly by their husbands who could be drug addicts.
“It’s not that people don’t know that condoms can protect them. But there are some men who do not care to take the precaution even though they know they have HIV.”
The figures also showed that last year alone, three people died of AIDS each day in Malaysia.
By ethnicity breakdown, Malays recorded the highest number of HIV sufferers (58,267 in total), followed by Chinese (11,886), Indians (6,532) and foreigners (2,722).
“One reason why Malays are the highest (recorded) is because of our large population. But it’s also because of the high number of injecting drug users.
“I urge the Malay leaders and the Malay non-governmental organisations to come forward to champion this cause,” Dr Abdul Latiff said.

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