Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Providing vital ARV treatment


(c) The Malaysia AIDS Council

The Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) - the charitable arm of the Malaysian AIDS Council, an Alliance linking organisation - has given a new lease of life to their thirteen year Medicine Assistance Scheme which provides second line anti-retrovirals (ARVs) for underprivileged Malaysians living with HIV.

Positive Audacious Living (PAL) was launched in June in Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. MAF Chairman Professor Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman described the re-launch of the scheme as ‘timely’ as the expanding numbers of beneficiaries are increasing the operational costs. To date the scheme has been paid for by MAF core funding. This is proving a challenge to sustain.

Around 60 people currently benefit from the scheme’s second line ARVs. At present the Malaysian government only provides full subsidies of ARVs for the first line regime so PAL is vitally important

A joint responsibility

“Improving our pool of resources is key in ensuring sustainability of the scheme. Strategic partnerships and collaborations with the corporate sector are integral to moving the PAL agenda forward. This is what the PAL scheme is all about – creating greater awareness of the corporate sector’s responsibility in the response to improve access to treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV...” Adeeba explained in her keynote speech at the launch

Celebrity support

Multi award-winning singer-songwriter and Red Ribbon celebrity supporter, Faizal Tahir was appointed as the official spokesperson of PAL.

Speaking at the launch Faizal reminded the audience about the long-standing struggle to end the HIV crisis.

“Yes, HIV is a crisis. When thousands of Malaysians living with HIV refuse to seek treatment for fear of being ostracised by society, it becomes a crisis. When only 37 per cent of Malaysians living with HIV have access to ARV treatment due to its high costs, it is undoubtedly a crisis,” he said.

It is hoped the re-branded PAL scheme will revitalise the interest of the corporate sector and the general public to invest in social responsibility to create an enabling environment free from the negative impact of HIV and AIDS for those Malaysians who are living with HIV.

Business involvement

Abbott Laboratories (Malaysia) Snd Bhd provided the financial assistance to re-brand the scheme and support was also received from Tesco Stores Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

To find more information about PAL see the official website.

    When thousands refuse to seek treatment for fear of being ostracised, it becomes a crisis.