Malaysian women in conservative state hit by HIV: Report

Philandering husbands who visit prostitutes across the border in Thailand are being blamed for high HIV-AIDS infection rates among women in Malaysia`s most conservative state.

Last Updated: Dec 06, 2010, 16:38 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: Philandering husbands who visit
prostitutes across the border in Thailand are being blamed for
high HIV-AIDS infection rates among women in Malaysia`s most
conservative state.

The Malaysian AIDS Council reportedly said that women in
northern Kelantan state, which is ruled by the hardline
Islamic party PAS, top the infection lists in Malaysia.

"Many of the women were afflicted with the disease as
their husbands had engaged the services of prostitutes,"
council president Mohamed Zaman Khan told national news agency
Bernama.

"For example, Kelantanese men often go to Sungai Golok
and after engaging with prostitutes, they return to their wives and pass on the disease," he said, referring to the notorious Thai town near the Malaysian border.
Bernama quoted Health Department deputy director-general
Hasan Abdul Rahman as telling the World AIDS Day event
yesterday that the infection rate in Kelantan was four times
higher than the national average.

Despite its small population of 1.6 million, Kelantan had
the highest number of women affected by HIV-AIDS at 1,211
cases, followed by Johor with 1,124 in a population of 3.4
million.

The Malaysian AIDS Council was not immediately able to
confirm the report.

PTI