Unsafe sex- main cause of HIV infection



IPOH, Dec 1  -- More than 90 per cent of HIV or AIDS infection in the country are caused by unsafe sex, especially those engaged in unnatural sex, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

What was more alarming, he said, was the discovery that 77 per cent of the HIV and AIDS patients in the country last year were between the age of 20 and 40.

“As such, more proactive efforts should be made to prevent the spread of the disease among  the young people,” he told a press conference after launching the national-level  2019 World AIDS Day celebration here today.

Dr Lee said the landscape of HIV in Malaysia has changed with heterosexuals and those engaged in unnatural sex infected with the disease, unlike previously, where most of the HIV or AIDS patients were infected by sharing of needles or syringes through injection.

Hence, the need to enhance understanding and awareness on safe sex among the public, he added.

On the Harm Reduction Programme that was introduced in 2006, Dr Lee said it had successfully reduced HIV and AIDS infections among intravenous drug users or people who inject drug (PWID)

Based on statistics, there were 1,737 PWIDs in 2010 and the number dropped to only 93 last year, he added.

He advised those with HIV to not delay going for anti-retroviral treatment (ARV).

In another development, Dr Lee said the ministry would take action against private medical practitioners charging consultation fees higher than the amount stipulated in the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.

The consultation fee for doctors comes under the jurisdiction of the ministry, while other charges, like hospital food and accommodation are based on market price, he said, adding that the hospital charges normally depend on the healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Yesterday, the local media reported that private clinics have been imposing additional charges of up to 10 percent on health insurance policyholders, while medication prices were almost 90 percent higher compared with those without insurance.

On a case of a houseman allegedly having punctured a baby’s hand multiple times in an attempt to draw blood, Dr Lee said the ministry would investigate the matter.

He said it could not be denied that it is difficult to find the vein on a baby, but there is a procedure on the matter.

“If the doctor or nurse failed on the first and second attempt, they must then get  somebody else, preferably a senior,  to handle it,” he added.

-- BERNAMA


 






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