Malaysia's HIV/AIDS infection rates are on the rise, dealing a blow to the country's bid to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to eradicate the virus, a UN official warned in reports Sunday.
Kamal Malhotra, the UN's resident coordinator in Malaysia told state news agency Bernama that up to June this year, 82,704 Malaysians have so far been infected with the virus since records began in 1986.
In 2006, eight percent of Malaysia's population were infected with HIV/AIDS compared to five percent in 2000, according to the United Nations Development Programme Malaysia website.
Malhotra told Bernama the country could face an epidemic if efforts were not focused on drug users, sex workers, transsexuals, male homosexuals and migrant workers.
He said one of the best methods to prevent this continuous spread was better education and understanding of the virus itself.
Malaysia has embarked on a five-year plan to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, launching a pilot needle exchange programmes for drug addicts in 2006.