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Malaysia Expected To Achieve Millennium Development Goals On HIV/AIDS

Armen Hareyan's picture

Malaysia is on track to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goalson curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS by the end of the decade, DeputyPrime Minister Najib Razak said Monday in Putrajaya, Malaysia,Malaysia's New Straits Timesreports. According to Razak, based on the country's plan to expand"harm reduction" programs to 25,000 injection drug users, it is"projected that either by 2009 or 2010" the country should see"positive results" and achieve the MDGs. The government's harmreduction program includes methadone treatment, needle-exchangeprograms and access to antiretroviral treatment in prisons, Razak said (New Straits Times, 10/2).

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Thereare about 75,000 HIV-positive people living in Malaysia, 70% of whomare IDUs. The government has said that transmission throughheterosexual sex is increasing and has noted a trend of increasing HIVincidence among women in the country. Current efforts to combat thespread of the disease have targeted IDUs, commercial sex workers andmen who have sex with men (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/22).

According to the Times,the government this year has allocated 14.4 million Malaysian ringgit,or about $4.2 million, for methadone treatment programs and sevenmillion ringgit, or about $2 million, for needle-exchange programs (New Straits Times,10/2). The government plans to increase the number of people receivingmethadone treatment under the program from 5,000 to 25,000 by 2010,Razak said. He added that the program has enabled 66% of HIV-positiveIDUs to maintain permanent jobs and about 25% to do general work afterone year of treatment (Xinhua/People's Daily, 10/2).

HealthMinister Chua Soi Lek recently said that the government has set aside300 million ringgit, or about $88 million, to combat the spread ofHIV/AIDS in the next three years (New Straits Times, 10/2).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.