Establishing Priorities for HIV Prevention and Care Research in Malaysia

The report from ARCSHS July Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in AIDS Research at the University of Malaya and the Malaysian AIDS Council is now available online. It provides an account of the rationale, proceedings and outputs from the one-day gathering of stakeholders who were interested in advancing the research agenda to contribute towards the Malaysian response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

The HIV epidemic in Malaysia appears to be changing rapidly as more infections are reported among key populations, especially men who have sex with men (MSM). Challenges have been reported by both sexual health service providers and HIV clinicians in terms of adequate resource allocation to meet the needs of key populations, especially in the context of limited evidence to inform a response. UNAIDS has set an ambitious target for HIV testing, linkage and treatment (90-90-90), however concerns have been expressed regarding progress towards these targets for key populations. Malaysia has the means in terms of treatment access, and has been successful in decreasing rates of infection among people who use drugs, however there is still much work to be done in achieving success for other groups.

In the context of an evolving epidemic there is a need for understanding in detail the epidemiology, the patterns of sexual transmission risk and health engagement behaviours, and the social or cultural factors that influence such behaviour to wage an effective response. There is also need for robust evaluation of existing services to understand their public health impact, as well as their quality, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.

Read the full report here.

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