World Alert: Rising HIV Cases in Malaysian Housewives
In Malaysia, HIV infections used to be limited to drug users. But a new, frightening trend has begun to emerge — the rise of the number of HIV-infected housewives.
Both the Malaysian Health Ministry and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released statements that the HIV infections among women increased from 8% in 1998 to 16% in 2007.
In a survey made in 2006, more housewives were found to have HIV than sex workers. And with an average of 12 Malaysians revealed to be positive for HIV daily, Malaysia has been considered to be one of the quickest rising AIDS epidemics in Asia.
According to the survey, the majority of the new HIV infections were married women who were monogamous in their sexual relationships with their husbands. This means that the housewives acquired the infections from their husbands. From the male cases of HIV infections in Malaysia, most of them were drug users, showing that they were probably transmitting the virus to their respective partners, thus the increase of infection in housewives.
Due to the soaring HIV infections among women, the Malaysian government has been taking steps to prevent its further spread. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak revealed the plans to have HIV screening mandatory for Muslims before entering into marriage.
It was learned that not only the marriage-minded Malaysians approved of this move. Many women are open to the idea of having themselves and their partners tested for HIV, even with marriage still out of the picture. They said that they would not be offended if their partners asked them to undergo the test, affirming that they believed in safety first. I guess people have become more aware of the real threat of HIV/AIDS.
Council president Adeeba Kamarulzaman also stated that it was important for each person testing positive for HIV would be given counseling and treatment, especially for women because they are likely to be more susceptible to prejudice and ostracism if found infected with HIV.Tags: aids, Drug, health, hiv, housewives, malaysia