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Sunday, December 5, 2010
Kelantan women worst hit by HIV
The number of women contracting HIV was four times higher in Kelantan compared with other states. Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said for every 100,000 people in Kelantan, 47 women were infected with HIV in 2008 and 37 women last year.
He said statistics showed that 13.3 and 10.8 people for every 100,000 from other states were infected with the virus in the corresponding period.
Overall, he said, Kelantan had the most number of women infected with the virus with 1,211 cases, Johor (1,124) and Selangor (1,107).
"Kelantan also has the highest proportion of people when measured against its population to have been infected with HIV over the last five years," he said when launching the national-level World AIDS Day celebration in Pengkalan Chepa yesterday.
His speech was read by his ministry's deputy director-general (public health) Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman.
Liow also urged the authorities in Kelantan to organise more programmes to create awareness and educate the public on AIDS and HIV prevention.
On a related issue, he said the government set aside RM32.5 million annually to treat HIV patients with antiretroviral (ARV) in the country.
"So far this year more than 11,000 people have received the ARV treatment compared with the ministry's initial target of treating 10,000 for the whole year," he said, adding that research showed HIV infection through sexual acts could be reduced by treating the patients with ARV.