Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has pledged RM1.2mil for the Malaysian Aids Foundation (MAF) to advance its Positive Audacious Living (PAL) Scheme over the next three years until 2020.
The scheme enables Malaysians living with HIV to obtain second-line anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment at major government hospitals for free.
YSD has extended its collaboration with MAF marking six years of partnership since 2014 with a total commitment of RM2.7mil.
“Our foundation aims to complement the Health Ministry’s objective in line with the United Nations’ global AIDS response goal to end AIDS by 2030.
“We also focus to achieve a 95% HIV treatment access rate by 2030,” said YSD governing council member Datin Paduka Zaitoon Othman.
“Currently less than 40% of Malaysians living with HIV are receiving treatment,” she added.
Zaitoon said, “Beneficiaries are able to keep regular jobs, sustain their livelihoods and support their families and dependents.
“Another benefit of viral suppression is the significant reduction in risk of HIV transmission to an uninfected partner by 96%, allowing zero-discordant couples to conceive HIV-negative babies.
“It is with these sustainable outcomes in mind that I am delighted to announce the foundation’s decision to extend support to the MAF PAL Scheme for the next three years until August 2020,” she added.
The partnership has enabled MAF to continue providing medication to 75 underprivileged Malaysians living with HIV.
MAF has established a strong rapport and works closely with infectious disease specialists and doctors at major government hospitals through the Hospital Peer Support Programme.
This enables MAF to have greater access to the needy and deserving HIV-infected persons across Malaysia who are in dire need of second-line ARV treatment under MAF PAL scheme.
MAF chairman Professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said recent advances in ARV treatment have dramatically changed the face of the epidemic.
“Not only does treatment save the lives of people living with HIV and allow them to essentially lead a normal life, it also significantly reduces the risk of transmission of HIV to their sexual partners and in the case of pregnant women to their unborn babies,” said Dr Adeeba.
The PAL Scheme is part of a two-pronged approach by YSD and the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) towards tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malaysia.
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