Malaysia: New HIV Cases Drop by Half Within 11 Years

This article was reported by The Rakyat Post.

The Rakyat Post reported that Malaysia's Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam said the country has seen 50 percent fewer new HIV cases throughout the past 11 years, down from 6,978 reported cases in 2002 to 3,393 reported cases in 2013. He relayed this information in his speech on May 24 at the 12th Malaysian AIDS Council Biannual Meeting. He also noted that HIV infection among drug addicts had decreased from 53 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in 2013. Subramaniam pointed out that this reduction is an outcome of the Reducing Harm program -- an injection tools- and needle-exchange and methadone replacement therapy program -- that the Health Ministry and Malaysian AIDS Council and its affiliates launched in 2006. He said the government is confident it can achieve its Millennium Development Goal of targeting 11 new infections for every 100,000 individuals in the population by 2015. However, the country has seen a dramatic rise of sexual transmissions, contributing to 74 percent of new HIV cases compared with only 32 percent just five years ago.