Blaming LGBT won’t cure HIV, AIDS, council says

Source: Malay Mail Online

The Malaysian Aids Council said hate attitudes against people with HIV or AIDS will worsen the current situation in the country. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Taking a combative and homophobic or transphobic attitude towards people with HIV or AIDS will not stop the disease from spreading, the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) said today.

It added that such hate attitudes, especially if adopted by medical professionals, will worsen the current situation in the country where infection rates have already reached a whopping 84 per cent.

“With the rise of sexually transmitted HIV (which accounted for 84 per cent of new infections last year), certain quarters were quick to point the finger of blame to these sexual minorities and the LGBT community.

“In response, we warned about the harms of hate and fear mongering and spoke against allowing homophobia and transphobia from pervading the HIV/AIDS discourse,” ,” MAC president Bakhtiar Talhah said in a statement to mark World AIDS day today. Read more

TPPA will affect medicine prices, says expert

Source: The Sundaily

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed has assured the public that medicine prices will not go up after signing the Pacific trade pact. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, November 13, 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: Critics of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) have rebutted claims by TPPA supporters that the agreement will not have an effect on medicine prices.

Policy Manager for the Malaysian AIDS Council Fifa Rahman said studies in Jordan and Thailand, which run along the same parallel lines economically as Malaysia, have all found that the provisions similar to those in their agreements led to an overall increase in cost of medicines.

“There are a lot of studies that have debunked what the pro-TPPA people are saying, these studies are done by international and legitimate medical bodies,” she said. Read more

TPP text released confirms deadly impact of access to medicines in Malaysia — Malaysian AIDS Council

Source: The Malay Mail Online

NOVEMBER 5 — The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a plurilateral trade agreement involving 12 countries including Malaysia and led by the United States. It contains 30 chapters, but only 4-5 of these pertain to traditional trade matters. The chapter that is of the most concern to the Malaysian AIDS Council is the intellectual property chapter. With the release of the finalised text today by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we as an organisation are horrified to note the confirmation of our very worst fears — that these provisions will put generic medicines out of the hands of patients all over Malaysia and decimate the public health budget. Read more