Monday, November 06, 2006

Travellers warned against being 'naughty' in Sabah

By Arman Gunsika

KOTA KINABALU - A warning to travellers - especially males: "Do Not Be Naughty While In Sabah", as the state recorded 520 HIV cases with 172 patients contracted full-blown AIDS so far this year.

During the same period, the country, with a population of 26 million, reported 70,599 HIV cases with 10,663 patients with full-blown AIDS.

In a rare warning, Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Yahya Hussin said the figures reflected a tremendous increase compared to 1,221 AIDS cases in 2005 and 233 cases in 1995.

He said this while launching a fundraising dinner organised by the Sabah Council of Social Services, delivered by his assistant Jornah Mohizim here.

Yahya said despite being a conservation Muslim country with some of the world's toughest anti-drug laws, Malaysia continues to be plagued by rampant increase in HIV cases due to illegal drug use and lack of sex education.

He urged non-government organisations in Sabah involved in combating AIDS to work together with the government towards preventing the spread in HIV.

He said programmes such as the distribution of free condoms and needles have proven successful, although during the initial stage, there were objections from many agencies.

The minister added that sex and HIV education is equally important among youngsters while religious groups should also play their role in promoting traditional values to stop the spread of AIDS.

"Do not be fooled by the sight of beautiful women or handsome men. Take extra precautions if you decide to befriend them," said a senior officer at the Council of Social Services.

Courtesy of: Borneo Bulletin

No comments: