Ministry of Health, UNICEF, 2008. 104 p.
Malaysia. Ministry of Health
This report grows out of the shared belief that there must be a response to the impeding HIV crisis confronting women and girls in Malaysia. The increasingly feminised nature of the HIV epidemic in the country has been linked to issues affecting women's ability to control and decide issues relating to sex. Whether as injecting drug users, housewives, migrant workers, professionals, refugees or sex workers, women and girls experience HIV and AIDS differently compared to men and boys. Their risks and vulnerabilities to HIV require a gendered response. As such, gender disaggregated surveillance data on HIV infections and behaviours must be made available. Women and girls deserve a separate strategy because of the increasing and disproportionate numbers becoming infected. This concern is currently reflected under Strategy 4 of the National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS 2006 - 2010. The limitations lie elsewhere, as we are not short of resources that can be committed to women and women's issues neither is there the lack of political will to respond and to commit. However, the national HIV and AIDS responses are still concentrated mainly in the Ministry of Health. The multifaceted nature of women and HIV requires the involvement of wider networks of multi-sectoral collaboration. This approach is needed to take action to increase women and girls' knowledge of the disease, expand access to sexual reproductive health education and testing, increase their ability to protect themselves from HIV as well as fight gender discrimination and violence.
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