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Malaysian AIDS Council World AIDS Day Statement
Together with many throughout the world, the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) and its 34 affiliates will be observing World AIDS Day on December 1st. This year’s theme I Care… Do You? runs for the second year of a two-year campaign.
MAC notes with profound concern:
- That everyone has the right to prevention education regardless of their station in life. This particularly applies to vulnerable groups such as drug users, sex workers, migrant workers as well as to young people and to women.
- That stigma and discrimination should be eliminated because they stand in the way of prevention. Equally any move that enhances stigma and discrimination, such as mandatory testing on particular groups of people, should not be implemented.
- That access to treatment must be enjoyed by all, regardless of station in life. This access must be enhanced by education about treatment, better health infrastructure, reduced prices of antiretroviral (ARVs) and services.
- That all policies that hinder effective preventive and care programmes should be seriously assessed, reviewed and changed to ensure the trend of the epidemic is reversed.
- That there needs to be a gender perspective to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support programmes, and that gender equality enhances prevention.
- That there is an urgent need to have an effective multisectoral approach to HIV/AIDS in Malaysia. This should be a true and equal partnership between government, NGOs, private sector and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).
- That the Greater Involvement of PLWHAs (GIPA) should be a principle in all prevention, treatment, care and support programmes.
- That all the principles, objectives and goals of the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment and the ASEAN Declaration on HIV/AIDS be the basis for all policies and programmes on HIV/AIDS in Malaysia.
- That strong leadership at all levels of society is essential for an effective response to the epidemic.
- That HIV/AIDS must be challenged with new, additional and sustainable resources.
- That HIV/AIDS can be prevented with knowledge.
In these ways, Malaysia and its people can show that it cares about HIV/AIDS with all the diverse issues surrounding it. Together we can take decisive steps towards containing the epidemic and its impact on our society and economy.
We can make a difference. We care… do you?
– WAO is an affiliate member of the Malaysian AIDS Council