KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 3,293 new HIV cases were recorded among Malaysians last year, Dr Lee Boon Chye told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Among them, 47 were individuals below the age of 18, the Deputy Health Minister said in response to a request from Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) for the latest statistics on children infected with HIV.
“The statistics show that 10 out of every 100,000 Malaysians were infected with HIV last year,” Lee said. He added that the government was looking to enact a law to protect those infected with HIV, especially children, from discrimination.
He then pointed out that the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry initially covered the cost of managing shelter homes but that was taken over by the Health Ministry in 2017.
“The Health Ministry does not have a special allocation for this purpose but some part of our (ministry) management cost was used to fund non-governmental organisations that work on HIV prevention programmes,” he added.
To a supplementary question from Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali (BN-Bagan Serai), Lee said that out of the entire HIV patient population in Malaysia, only 3.4% had been infected by injecting drugs.
“The ministry managed to reduce the HIV rate from 28.5 per 100,000 residents in Malaysia in 2002, to 10 cases per 100,000 residents in 2018 and this is an achievement,” he said.
On a separate matter, Lee said figures from the 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey showed a high incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension among Malaysians over 18 years of age.
He said about 17.5% of Malaysians suffer from diabetes, 30.3% have hypertension and 47.7% suffer from hypercholesterolaemia.
He was responding to Mastura Mohd Yazid (BN-Kuala Kangsar) who asked about chronic diseases affecting the youth.