More than 10,000 Malaysians are suffering from the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a senior health official said here on Thursday.
As of March this year, 10,959 Malaysians are suffering from AIDS, while 60,737 others are Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( HIV) carriers, Malaysian Health Minister Chua Soi Lek said.
About 88 percent of those infected by HIV are male drug addicts, Chua told the Parliament.
AIDS has claimed the lives of 8,334 Malaysians so far, he added.
The Malaysian government attached great importance to the country's fight against the disease. It approved the 2006-2010 National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS in April this year, setting six core strategies, include HIV prevention, treatment, nursing, and after-treatment services.
A Cabinet Committee on HIV and AIDS was also set up to strengthen the country's campaign against AIDS.
Chua said that some 10,000 HIV carriers in the country would be given anti-retroviral treatment this year, which is made possible with the lower cost anti-HIV drugs.
The government also allocated 500 million ringgit (135.1 million U.S. dollars) to implement the country's five-year plan against HIV and AIDS, he added.