Two HIV-infected patients die daily in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 30 (POOL-Bernama) Two HIV-infected patients die daily in Malaysia, while 20 new cases and three AIDS carriers are reported to the Health Ministry each day.
At present, there were more than 58,000 HIV-infected cases in the country, and 80 per cent comprised young people aged 13-39 years, Health Minister Chua Soi Lek said yesterday.
If this figure continued to rise, it will be a new epidemic for Malaysia, he said.
"Three-quarters of the reported cases were infected through intravenous drug use, 13 per cent by heterosexual transmission, and 0.69 per cent from mother-to-child transmission," he said at the launching of HV-7, a seventh generation rapid test kit for HIV/AIDS developed by Malaysian researchers funded by TH Koid Foundation.
Chua said the ministry would jump start its 'Health Without AIDS For Youths' programme, better known as "Prostar" which was launched five years ago to instill awareness and understanding among youths about HIV/AIDS.
He said the programme resulted in the setting up of more than 1,000 clubs in schools and institutions of higher learning.
But it was only able to carry out courses for 7,50,000 of the five million youths in the country, or 20 per cent, which was "not enough", he said.
Chua also said that Malaysia would keep its promises to the World Health Organisation to provide 4,000 HIV/AIDS patients in the country with free Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy (HAART) by next year. Currently, only 1,500 patients were being adminstered the therapy, he said.