Sunday, May 28, 2006

MAC: Tackle issue of gays

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: The HIV/ AIDS scourge in the country can be reduced if the issue of homosexuals is resolved first, the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) said.
MAC president Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said: “As most of us know, homosexuality is one of the reasons why HIV/ AIDS is so widespread.
“If we can tackle the issue with the help of the Government, the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS can be reduced.”
She added, however, that the issue was sensitive.
“That is why there is a gap,” she told reporters after the opening of the Eighth MAC biennial general meeting at the Dynasty Hotel here yesterday.
Dr Adeeba said one of the aims of the MAC was to bridge that gap.
She added that MAC would organise some HIV/AIDS prevention programmes outside the Klang Valley to explain the dangers of HIV/AIDS to more people in the country.
“It is crucial for people who live in the rural and border areas to know about the dangers and how to avoid getting infected,” she said.
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the new patron of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and wife of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, opened the meeting.
She said 6,120 new HIV cases were reported last year, adding that there was an average of 19 new cases daily in Malaysia.
Rosmah said that about 700 of the new cases involved women and although it seemed a small figure, it was an acute increase from three in 1989 and 380 in 1999.
“If we are not careful and diligent in educating the public about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, as many as 300,000 Malaysians might be infected with the virus by 2015,” she said.

No comments: