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MOH Will Provide Free HIV Prevention Medication

MOH Will Provide Free HIV Prevention Medication

Oral Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will be distributed at public health clinics in Selangor, Klang Valley, Johor, Penang, and Sabah.

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Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an oral medication used to prevent HIV transmission through sex or injection drug use, will soon be made available for free at select public health clinics in states with a high HIV prevalence.

According to a statement released by the MOH, under the two-year programme beginning in January, the ministry hopes to increase the use of the HIV prevention pill among those at risk of contracting HIV, such as partners of people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Access to PrEP in Malaysia has long been hampered by stigmatised attitudes and concerns of “risk compensation” or fear that people would actively engage in condomless sex, which slowed efforts to scale up PrEP in the public health sector despite its availability.

The programme is administered by the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and funded by the Global Fund.

To ensure access equality, the suitability, readiness and quality of HIIV testing, treatment and prevention will be increased, the ministry said.

In general, the PrEP treatment is able to reduce HIV transmission through sexual intercourse by 99% if taken according to the set prescription.

The issue of stigma and discrimination will continue to be curbed to ensure friendly HIV/AIDS treatment can be given.

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