Kuala Lumpur, 25 September 2012 – Over the past few years, the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) has been a beneficiary of grants from the Open Society Foundation (formerly Open Society Institute) amounting to RM 450,000. These funds have been utilised to support the national HIV/AIDS response in key populations, particularly in advancing harm reduction programming in injecting drug users. Funds from the Open Society Foundation have enabled training, seminars and educational visits to be conducted for these purposes in collaboration with Malaysian law enforcement and drug control agencies such as the Royal Malaysia Police and National Anti-Drug Agency.
Since 2005, MAC has been working with the Ministry of Health to implement harm reduction strategies, such as the needle & syringe exchange programme and methadone maintenance therapy, to reduce the transmission of HIV amongst people who use drugs. These evidencebased programmes have been proven globally to be effective in reducing HIV amongst people who use drugs, an impact that is beginning to be seen in Malaysia.
The financial burden of the national HIV/AIDS response has largely been borne by the government. However, in order to scale up the response, support from international agencies such as the Open Society Foundation, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is integral to our HIV prevention efforts and helps to complement HIV services provided by the Ministry of Health.