HIV/AIDS: The Basics


1. What is HIV?

It is acronym from Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV attack the human immune system and expose the individual to AIDS.

1. HIV only attack human
2. Nobody died because of HIV infection
3. Can be tested thru HIV Antibody Test
4. Virus that can cause of AIDS.


2. What is AIDS?
It is acronym from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS is a group of symptoms a disease which attack the human immune system after a person is infected with HIV.

3. What is the different between HIV and AIDS?
HIV is a virus that attacks the human immune system and AIDS is a group of diseases resulting from HIV infection

4. How HIV infection.
There are three main ways of:
a) Sex without using a condom with an infected person.

In this case, sexual promiscuity was not the right term, because we are not likely to know the status of a person until it is tested. If someone is having sex with multiple partners who are not having HIV, as many as may be, he would not be infected.


Similarly, if a person is wearing a condom every time he had sex, the percentage to be infected is less.


b) The sharing of needles contaminated with HIV.

Oral drug use has nothing to do with HIV infection. For HIV-infected injection drug use is only capable of transferring the virus from person to person through contaminated blood found in syringes.


c) From positive pregnant mothers to child during conceived in the womb, during birth and during lactation.

Positive mothers have a 20% – 30% (WHO) possibility to infected virus to the unborn child. But with ARV treatment during pregnancy and during the birth process and also to give treatment to the new baby was born, possibility this can be reduced to less than 1% risk. Mothers are advised not to breastfeed to reduce the risk of transmission


There are ways other infections such as blood transfusion, organ transplant and injuries due to needles.

5. We cannot be infected with HIV through:
a. Mosquito bites (or even monkeys or other animals)
b. Sharing public facilities such as swimming pools, public telephone or public toilets
c. Sleeping, eating, drinking and doing normal activities and even sports with HIV positive persons.

In fact, HIV is categorized as a virus that spread via the blood (blood-borne virus) and not the virus that spread by air (air-borne viruses). If the blood (and certain body fluids) with HIV do not enter into our bloodstream, the infection will not occur.

6. Body fluids with a high concentration of HIV are:

a. Blood
b. Semen
c. Pre-ejaculation fluids
d. Vaginal fluids
e. Breast milk

High concentration means the HIV can be transmitted through 5 body fluids as mentioned. Other body fluids such as urine, sweat, saliva, etc. also contain HIV but a low concentration of virus and cannot spread HIV.

7. Can a person with HIV is distinguished from the physical?

No. Only by taking an HIV Screening Test status person can be known.

8. Can HIV survive outside the human body?
HIV cannot survive long outside the human body and are destroyed when exposed to oxygen or sunlight.

9. How is HIV transmitted through oral sex?
The risk of infection through oral sex is very low. It arise when the semen or vaginal fluids of infected couples into the mouth which are wound / Fissures / ulcers / mucus membrane / Gum disease.

10. Can HIV infection through kissing mouth (French kiss)?
HIV from the blood can enter the partner’s mouth if there are wound / Fissures / ulcers in the oral cavity, but so far no cases of infection reported.

11. Can HIV infected by donating blood?
Per cent chances of infection is low because they used disposable equipment and sterile. Do not donate blood if you or your partner have suspected HIV or had sex without a condom.

12. Should I and my partner tested before marriage?
Know the status of spouse before marriage is better than to know after marriage. However this does not guarantee that you or your partner is free of HIV after marriage. It is recommended to you and your partner always discusses this matter to determine your future.

HIV Data

1. Number of people living with HIV in Malaysia
As of December 2011 a total of 94,841 cases were reported
2. The number people with AIDS in Malaysia
As of December 2011 a total of 17,686 cases were reported

3. The number of men and women living with HIV
As of December 2011, the number of males was 78.9% and the number of women was 21.1%.

4. The number of those who died due to AIDS
As of December 2011 a total of 13,007 cases were reported

5. The percentage of infection in Malaysia
Now 2011, the mode of sexual transmission (heterosexual) to be a major cause of infection in Malaysia, 42.5%, followed by sharing of needles is 38.7%, and 2.0% is vertical transmission from positive mothers to children during conceived.

HIV Screening Test

1. Where a person can get HIV testing? What is the cost?
The public may undergo HIV Screening test at the clinics and government hospitals for free.

2. How long does it take to get HIV test results?
Screening for HIV it only takes less than 30 minutes. For laboratory for HIV test it takes less than a month.

3. How often one should get tested for HIV and why?
It is recommended for a person to undergo HIV testing at least once in a year. If you are a person who is sexually active, are recommended every six months. This is because long window period for HIV is available for 3 weeks to 6 months.

*The timing of the window period is a time when HIV antibodies can be detected in the body. In Malaysia, the window period is between 3 weeks to 6 months.

4. What steps should be taken by a person who obtained the results/receive a positive diagnosis of HIV?
When a person has been diagnosed with HIV is important to:
a) Get accurate information about HIV. This can be done through a counseling process with doctor at the Infectious Disease Division at government hospitals or contact directly to the Malaysian AIDS Council in line 603- 4047 4222
b) Think positively
c) Find out whether or not undergoing HAART treatment. The doctor will inform the positive person

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1. What treatments are available to help people living with HIV?

Existing treatment known as Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy or HAART. It is a tablet taken as schedule. With the right treatment, the body’s immune enhanced their positive and can lead normal lives.

2. How treatment can help people living with HIV?
It can help to increase the body’s immune system and help them live positively as those who do not have HIV.

3. What is the importance of care and support to people living with HIV?
HIV is the virus attacks the immune system. HIV positive people who are very susceptible to diseases related to immune system weakness. It is important that their positive support and the right treatment for HIV are not spread directly destroys the body’s immune system and makes people living with HIV reached the AIDS stage.

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1. What type of stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV?

Stigma and discrimination are broad enough in scope. Apart from the stigma and discrimination (S&D) social, there are also S&D in the workplace, family, economic and human rights. People living with HIV often report on S&D social and at the workplace.

2. What are the challenges the Malaysian AIDS Council in reducing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV?
a) Level of awareness among community about HIV/AIDS and how is transmission
b) Policies and procedures in the workplace that has yet to support efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination
c) Media involvement in providing accurate messages about HIV / AIDS to the Community