KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 ― The intervention of religious figures such as the “imam” are needed to educate the public on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simultaneously, help those afflicted patients to reach out for help in Muslim-majority states.
Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) president Datuk Dr Raj Karim said due to the HIV stigma spiralling in the community of these states, it was difficult for the patients to come out seeking for treatment and consultation.
“The stigma among the Muslims states is very much present, most of the patients either do not speak about it for fear of being judged. Thus, they do not seek help.
“And, the role of the 'imam' is important, especially in the rural areas as people there listen to what the 'imam' has to say,” she said during the launch of the Ending AIDS by 2030 campaign, in commemoration of the World AIDS Day 2015 here yesterday.
According to the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) in 2014, Kelantan recorded the second highest number of HIV cases with 207 new cases recorded out of the 3,393 total cases in the country. ― Bernama