KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Men who have sex with men now comprise the majority of new HIV infections in Malaysia, higher than heterosexual transmission and intravenous drug use, according to the Health Ministry.
The Health Ministry said in 2018, 57 per cent of HIV transmissions came from men who have sex with men, 37 per cent from heterosexual intercourse, 3 per cent from intravenous drug use, and 3 per cent from other causes, like erroneous blood transfusions or organ donations.
Men who have sex with men only comprised 8 per cent of HIV infections in 2010 and a reported zero cases in 1990, with intravenous drug use instead accounting for 48 per cent and 61 per cent of HIV transmissions in 2010 and 1990 respectively.
Heterosexual intercourse accounted for 40 per cent of HIV infections in 2010, rising from 5 per cent in 1990, according to the Health Ministry.
The numbers of new HIV infections were not shared, only the percentages of the various factors.
“The pattern of HIV infection in Malaysia has changed since HIV was discovered for the first time in Malaysia in 1986,” said the Health Ministry.
“Starting in 1990, the majority of HIV infections happened among drug addicts because they shared needles. This figure dropped to less than half of infections in 2010, but there was an increase in heterosexual transmission.”