Friday, July 07, 2006

More Malaysians Are HIV Carriers

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- As of March this year, some 60,737 Malaysians were HIV carriers while 10,959 others were suffering from AIDS.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek told Parliament Thursday that some 8,334 AIDS patients had died.
Dr Chua added that 88 per cent of those infected by HIV were males who were mostly drug addicts.
"Drug addicts pass down the disease through the sharing of syringes," he said.
This year, Dr Chua said, some 10,000 HIV carriers in the country would be given anti-retroviral treatment, made possible with the cheaper cost of anti-HIV drugs.
"Today the anti-retroviral treatment only costs RM150 per patient, down from RM1,200 previously."
Dr Chua also said the government had allocated RM500 million to implement the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS from 2006 to 2010.
The plan, endorsed by the Cabinet on April 12, has six core strategies which include HIV prevention, treatment and nursing, as well as after- treatment support services.
Dr Chua added that a Cabinet Committee on HIV/AIDS had been set up. The committee will be supported by the National Advisory Committee on AIDS and National Technical Committee on AIDS.

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