Eamonn Murphy

KUCHING: Malaysia, in cooperation with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), will launch a web platform to gather data for evidence-informed programming on the HIV epidemic in the country.

Aimed at strengthening strategic information generation apart from the use of national, sub-national and key population data, the web platform will be launched during the 5th Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health, which begins today here.

The conference will end on Thursday.

UNAIDS regional support team for Asia and the Pacific region director Eamonn Murphy said Malaysia was the first country in the region to take this step forward by committing to such a smart investment.

“By making strategic decisions, Malaysia has cut new infections significantly.

“However, the AIDS epidemic is constantly changing.

“Unless we track every move the virus makes, we will find hotspots flaring up.

“Up-to-date strategic information keeps our fingers on the pulse and sets evidence-informed priorities that respond with alacrity to the evolving dynamics of Malaysia’s HIV epidemic.

“The launch and this new partnership between UNAIDS and Malaysia will harness the power of a data revolution to fast-tracking the HIV response,” said Murphy, adding that UNAIDS hoped other countries would emulate the initiative taken by Malaysia.

He said Malaysia and countries across the globe had committed to ending AIDS by 2030.

However, such target could only be achieved if all stakeholders had access to data in finding ways to reduce the epidemic.

“We hope by next year’s report on the global AIDS epidemic, Malaysia would have surpassed the regional average and, perhaps, be closing in on 90 per cent of people who know their status of accessing treatment,” said Murphy.

Malaysia and the world have committed to the Fast-Track goals of 90-90-90, that is 90 per cent of people living with HIV knowing their status, 90 per cent of them will have access to treatment, which can result in 90 per cent of those accessing treatment, achieving viral suppression.

“The country has already reached the first goal and I’m confident that soon it can reach the other two,” he said.

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