KUANTAN (Bernama) – The Health Ministry targets to reduce HIV infection to 11 per 100,000 population by the end of this year from the 11.4 per 100,000 population last year, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said yesterday.
He said the ministry was confident of achieving the target based on the various efforts undertaken by the government against the infection since the first case was detected in the country in 1986.
“These efforts include detecting of cases, prevention of infections, treatment and social support carried out by the ministry.
“Besides, we are also involved in the ‘Asean Declaration of Commitment: Getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths’ project, which is an initiative to ensure that those with HIV obtain antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, support and counselling to help reduce deaths caused by AIDS,” he said.
Hilmi spoke to reporters after opening the 3rd National Aids Conference. Deputy Director of Disease Control (AIDS/STD) Dr Shaari Ngadiman and Pahang Health Director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail were also present at the event.
In line with the government’s commitment to ensuring a reduction in HIV infection among Malaysians through the ‘Asean Declaration of Commitment: Getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths’ project, Hilmi urged the public to change the negative stigma and discrimination against people afflicted with HIV or AIDS.