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HIV on the rise
in Malaysia

HIV on the rise
in Malaysia

The number of HIV infections in Malaysia could increase to 300,000 by 2015, reported the Associated Press.

HIV incidence is spreading quickly among drug addicts, women, fishermen, truck drivers, and factory workers, said Ramlee Rahmat, deputy director-general of public health, to the AP. To date, 73,000 Malaysians have been infected with HIV; 75% of those are intravenous drug users, and 7% are women.

"Based on the trend that we are seeing, HIV infections can escalate to 300,000 cases by 2015 if we do not do anything," Ramlee said. Aggressive steps to curb HIV transmission began to be taken last year. They include needle exchange programs and free antiretroviral drugs at government clinics that serve women and children.

"We have put up intervention measures. We are taking this very seriously. If we carry out our plans effectively and the public cooperates with us, we will be successful in curbing the spread of the disease," added Ramlee.

Three people die of AIDS-related illnesses every day in Malaysia, the health ministry has reported. (The Advocate)

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