Daily reported: Nine new HIV cases, two AIDS deaths

Every day, an average of nine new HIV cases and two AIDS-related deaths were reported in Malaysia..

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the Ministry of Health received 3,347 new HIV cases and registered 892 AIDS-related deaths in 2017.

There is a total of 72,339 HIV- positive patients as of 2017 but only 54% of them were receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, he said. “This treatment can increase their lifespan and prevent full-blown AIDS,” he said when officiating World AIDS Day 2018 here.

He said with ARV, HIV patients could live up to 58 years or more.

“Misconception about HIV is one of the main reasons patients are reluctant to take ARV. “As some HIV-positive patients are symptom-free, they think they do not need the treatment until they develop AIDS,” he said, adding that the government provided the treatment for free at clinics.

Dr Lee also said ARV could help reduce HIV by up to 97%. “We hope to have at least 95% of HIV-positive patients undergo the treatment by 2030,” he said.

He urged the public to take HIV screening, which is available for free at government clinics. “Early HIV detection will reduce the chances of developing AIDS and further spreading the virus to loved ones,” he said, adding that those taking the test could also choose to remain anonymous.

/theSTAR 03-12-2018

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