Individuals with HIV, AIDS should have courage to seek treatment - Sarawak Minister

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (centre)
06/07/2022 05:44 PM

KUCHING, July 6 (Bernama) -- Individuals with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) should have the courage to seek treatment as there is a high chance for recovery.

Sarawak Women, Early Childhood and Community Well-Being Minister, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said there was now a drug which could treat the viral infection while her ministry was taking holistic measures in battling the disease.

"Besides providing treatment, a support system is also important as the scenario in Sarawak is that, those with HIV or AIDS need to go to the general hospital for treatment.

"If there is no support system like Anjung Kasih, the chances of the infected individuals not receiving treatment is high," she said at a news conference after the launching of the Malaysia AIDS Foundation (MAF)- Sunway HOPE Project, here, today.

Fatimah said that based on statistics from the Sarawak State Health Department, 2,720 HIV and 1,093  AIDS cases were reported between 2015 and March 26, this year.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry’s HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Sector head, Dr Anita Suleiman said the ministry was currently conducting a clinical study on use of the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug in treating HIV or AIDS.

"This large-scale intervention study needs to be carried out before the pills could be introduced to the public for HIV and AIDS infection prevention,” she added.

Dr Anita said that in 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had updated the guidelines on using the PrEP as an additional prevention choice for individuals at risk of getting HIV infection.