HIV became a taboo because many of our ideas about it originated from early 1980s images when the virus first appeared.
However, many of those early images do not accurately represent the reality of the condition today.
In the past, HIV was viewed as a guaranteed death sentence.However, this is no longer the case.
Many people with HIV now live long and healthy lives with the advent ofantiretroviral therapy (ART), which has transformed HIV into a manageable chronic condition.
ART prevents the virus from multiplying in a person's body, giving their immune system a chance to recover and produce infection-fighting CD4 cells again.
With consistent treatment and successful viral suppression, individuals with HIV also eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners, allowing them to have healthy relationships.
As open discussions about safe practices, condom use, and needle exchange programs increase, the country has also witnessed a substantial decline in new HIV infections
From 2002 to 2021, new HIV infections decreased by 70.2%, with 6,978 cases reported in 2002 compared to 2,760 cases in 2021.
In 2021, Malaysia was also certified as the first country in the Western Pacific Region to have eliminated mother-to-child (vertical) transmission of HIV, ensuring that no infants were born with the infection to HIV-positive mothers.
While the statistics highlight Malaysia's progress in managing and preventing HIV/AIDS, there are still many areas that require continued attention
But by promoting compassion, improving accessibility, and dispelling the stigma around HIV/AIDS, people will feel more comfortable seeking information and support.
This will, in turn, help individuals make informed choices, seek regular testing and treatment, and ultimately, end the AIDS epidemic in the country.
If you want to learn more about HIV/AIDS, here are places that can help you:
1. Malaysian AIDS Council No 12, Jalan 13/48A, The Boulevard Shop Office, Off Jalan Sentul, 51000 Kuala Lumpur. Contact: +603 4047 4222 Email: email@example.com Website | Facebook | Instagram
2. Malaysian AIDS Foundation Contact: +603 4047 4222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website | Facebook
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