A one stop resource center, TemanTeman.org, was officially launched here today, to provide information and help arrest the “alarming” spread of HIV and AIDS in Malaysia.
Hosted at www.TemanTeman.org, it brings together Malaysian HIV/AIDS experts and pioneers as well as celebrities through a unique online interactive campaign that leverages on social media networks to amplify and promote information on the treatment, care and support for those at risk. It also serves to debunk myths on HIV/AIDS in Malaysia.
A community project, it was created by Purple Haze Asia, organized by the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre (TRCARC) and funded by ViiV Healthcare and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).
The project is supported by University Malaya Medical Centre’s (UMMC) Department of Infectious Diseases and the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA).
The Ministry of Health (MoH) estimates that the HIV rate among key populations is 12%, and according to UNAIDS, while AIDS-related deaths have declined by nearly 40% in the Asia-Pacific region since 2005, they have increased by 20% in Malaysia.
In 2013, there were 3,393 HIV cases reported in Malaysia – an average of nine cases per day – while there were an estimated 86,324 people living with HIV (PLHIV) which is about 0.44% of the total population.
That same year, the country had reported a cumulative 101,672 HIV cases, 20,235 AIDS cases and 16,340 deaths related to HIV/AIDS, thus giving a reported PLHIV of 85,332. The total number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) is expected to increase to 91,733 in 2015.
Males continue to represent the majority (78.5%) of cumulative HIV cases in Malaysia. In 2013, amongst men, 21.5% acquired infection via injecting drug use and 73.6% through sexual mode. Most HIV infections among women occurred mainly through heterosexual transmission (51.4%)
In conjunction with its launch in Malaysia, TemanTeman.org plans to organize a HIV/AIDS awareness photographic exhibition at a public mall featuring high-profile Malaysian celebrities such as Diana Danielle and Carmen Soo. There will also be HIV testing events, the details of which will be finalized soon.
www.TemanTeman.org offers virtual tours for clients and patients on how to access HIV treatment in Malaysia at tertiary referral hospitals like Infectious Diseases Unit at UMMC, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Pulau Pinang and Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Bahru.