The Alliance’s Linking Organisation, the Malaysia AIDS Council (MAC), is a national umbrella organisation of over 40 local NGOs working on HIV issues.
MAC has a wide range of partners including civil society organisations, faith based organisations, youth councils and research bodies. MAC’s role is to coordinate work among its partners and build their capacity to better respond to HIV. It also advocates on issues which affect people living with HIV and key populations at higher risk of HIV infection.
Malaysia has a concentrated HIV epidemic which has largely been linked to unsafe injecting. While HIV prevalence is 0.5% among the general population, studies estimate that amongst people using drugs it is 25%. Amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) prevalence is 4% and amongst sex workers and transsexuals it is 10%. Consequently working with these populations is a key focus of MAC’s work.
Since 2011 MAC has been an implementing partner of the Alliance’s Community Action on Harm Reduction (CAHR) project, which aims to expand harm reduction services to more than 180,000 injecting drug users, their partners and children in five countries.
In Malaysia CAHR aims to deliver national-level scale-up of HIV prevention programmes among injecting drug users by supporting services at four new sites, and expanding services at four existing sites (including rapid testing for HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, sexually transmitted infections, legal services and family support).
The project is implemented in the states of Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Pahang, Melaka. You can find out more on the CAHR project website: www.cahrproject.org
In 2012 BBC News ran a photo gallery of the CAHR project’s work with fishing communities. Check it out here.
CAHR is the third addition to MAC’s harm reduction programmes. The other two include those funded by the Ministry of Health and by the Global Fund to flight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Prevents HIV among key populations through outreach teams who provide information and distribute condoms in venues frequented by sex workers, people who are transgender and men who have sex with men. Under the Global Fund Round 10, MAC will scale up coverage of HIV services for female and transgender sex workers, aiming to reach over 11,900 sex workers during the five year implementation period. Find out more in this photo slide show.
- Works with religious authorities to improve the response for Muslims living with HIV in the country. As part of this work MAC provided guidance in the production of the Department of Islamic Development’s HIV & Islam manual. In 2010, a pilot project was set up at Ar Rahman mosque in Kuala Lumpur to allow people to receive free methadone, find out more in this photo gallery.
- MAC’s partners manage 17 shelter homes for 744 people living with HIV who are homeless. They also provide over 5,000 people living with HIV with home based care and/or peer support.
- Read more about MAC’s programming on their website.
- In 2012 over 6,500 people accessed CAHR supported services.
- 54 organisations supported financially
- 56,997 copies of information about HIV or sexual and reproductive health distributed
- 59,568 people reached directly through services (including information, education and communication
- materials and/or activities and referrals)
- 509,433 condoms distributed
- Find out more about our annual achievements on our interactive map.