The deputy Prime minister Najib Razak, concerned over alarming rise of HIV cases, has announced the government plan to impose prison term on people who donate
HIV-contaminated blood. Warning that effective measures need to be taken so as to curtail HIV, he said that some 300,000 Malaysians among a population of 26 million would contract the virus by 2015, he warned. Najib Razak said, "There have been several cases of HIV and AIDS sufferers who donated blood. We want to make it a crime. You can kill people by that act. If you knowingly donate blood when you are infected, you could cause the death of other people. That's why we are taking it seriously."
Chairing a cabinet committee meeting on AIDS, earlier Najib had said that the disease prevention and control legislation would be amended to provide for the tough legislation. Reports have indicated that last year alone, 643 blood donors had been found infected with various viruses, and seven with HIV/AIDS. Najib had said that this rising trend of HIV infections, with a larger numbers of women acquiring the disease, was a major cause for concern.
Najib went on to say, "On average, 6,000 HIV/AIDS cases are reported annually, 70 percent of them involving drug addicts." He further stated that one of the steps that had been decided at the meeting towards containing the disease would be a mandatory requirement for all 13 states in Malaysia's HIV/AIDS screening on Muslim couples who were planning to get married.