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Homosexuals, bisexuals biggest HIV contributors - expert

Homosexuals, bisexuals biggest HIV contributors - expert
Dr Rohaya says the Health Ministry also pays attention to high-risk groups which include drug users, female sex workers, homosexuals and transvestites. - Photo for illustration purpose
KUALA LUMPUR: Although the number of HIV infections in the country have declined, there is now a change in the trend, with more infections coming from the homosexual and bisexual groups.

"About 65 per cent of infections now are from the homosexual and bisexual groups, while 31 per cent are from sexual relations between men and women," said senior principal assistant director (HIV/STI) of the Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Health Department, Dr Rohaya Ramli.

"Where previously, 80 per cent of HIV infections were from drug abuse, according to statistics obtained up to June this year, the trend now shows that 96 per cent of infections are from sexual activity," she said.
She said since 1986 until last December, a total of 110,000 cases of HIV infections were recorded nationwide.

The total number of AIDS infection cases stood at 23,000 with 18,000 deaths, she added.

"The cumulative number of cases in Kuala Lumpur remain the same, with 9,700 HIV cases reported, 3,600 AIDS cases and 2,300 deaths recorded."

Dr Rohaya said to achieve its target of zero HIV infection cases in Kuala Lumpur by 2020, the Health Ministry had launched prevention and control campaigns which focused on youths.

"We also pay attention to high-risk groups which include drug users, female sex workers, homosexuals and transvestites.

"Among the measures taken is stressing the dangers of HIV to youths so that they avoid sexual contact before marriage," she said, urging high-risk groups to take screening tests.

-- BERNAMA