Awang, H. Wong, L. P. Jani, R. Low, Wah Yun
Journal of Biosocial Science. 2014; 46(2): 214-224
This study examines the knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among male youths in Malaysia. A self-administered survey was carried out on a sample of 952 never-married males aged 15-24 years. The respondents were asked about their knowledge of STDs, how these diseases get transmitted and their sexual behaviours. The data showed that 92% of the respondents knew of at least one STD (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, yeast infection, trichomoniasis or HIV/AIDS). About 95% of them knew of at least one method of STD transmission. Urban and tertiary-educated male youths showed a substantially higher proportion of awareness of STDs and transmission methods compared with their rural and less-educated counterparts. The data also indicated that 10% of the study sample admitted to having had sexual experiences. There were still a large proportion of the respondents who were not aware of STDs other than syphilis and HIV/AIDS and the means of transmission, such as multiple sex partners, including those who claimed to be sexually active. Thus there is a need for more concerted efforts to disseminate information on STDs and transmission methods to a wider audience in Malaysia, especially youths in rural areas.
Cheong Hui Ting, Ng Kim Tien, Ong Lai Yee, Chook Jack Bee, Chan Kok Gan, Takebe Yutaka, Kamarulzaman Adeeba, Tee Kok Keng
PloS one. 2014; 9(10): e111236
A novel HIV-1 recombinant clade (CRF51_01B) was recently identified among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Singapore. As cases of sexually transmitted HIV-1 infection increase concurrently in two socioeconomically intimate countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, cross transmission of HIV-1 between said countries is highly probable. In order to investigate the timeline for the emergence of HIV-1 CRF51_01B in Singapore and its possible introduction into Malaysia, 595 HIV-positive subjects recruited in Kuala Lumpur from 2008 to 2012 were screened. Phylogenetic relationship of 485 amplified polymerase gene sequences was determined through neighbour-joining method. Next, near-full length sequences were amplified for genomic sequences inferred to be CRF51_01B and subjected to further analysis implemented through Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling and maximum likelihood methods. Based on the near full length genomes, two isolates formed a phylogenetic cluster with CRF51_01B sequences of Singapore origin, sharing identical recombination structure. Spatial and temporal information from Bayesian MCMC coalescent and maximum likelihood analysis of the protease, gp120 and gp41 genes suggest that Singapore is probably the country of origin of CRF51_01B (as early as in the mid-1990s) and featured a Malaysian who acquired the infection through heterosexual contact as host for its ancestral lineages. CRF51_01B then spread rapidly among the MSM in Singapore and Malaysia. Although the importation of CRF51_01B from Singapore to Malaysia is supported by coalescence analysis, the narrow timeframe of the transmission event indicates a closely linked epidemic. Discrepancies in the estimated divergence times suggest that CRF51_01B may have arisen through multiple recombination events from more than one parental lineage. We report the cross transmission of a novel CRF51_01B lineage between countries that involved different sexual risk groups. Understanding the cross-border transmission of HIV-1 involving sexual networks is crucial for effective intervention strategies in the region.
Choi P., Kavasery R., Desai M. M., Govindasamy S., Kamarulzaman Adeeba, Altice F. L
International Journal of STD & AIDS. 2010; 21(6): 416-423
HIV-infected prisoners face an inordinate number of community re-entry challenges. In 2007, 102 HIV-infected prisoners in Malaysia were surveyed anonymously within six months prior to release to assess the prevalence and correlates of community re-entry challenges. Staying out of prison (60.8%), remaining off drugs (39.2%), finding employment (35.3%) and obtaining HIV care (32.4%) were the re-entry challenges reported most frequently. Global stigma, negative self-image and public attitudes-related stigma were independently associated with challenges to obtaining HIV care. In multivariate analyses, those with previous incarcerations (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-7.6), higher HIV-related symptoms (AOR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0-4.1) and higher public attitudes-related stigma (AOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.2-5.1) had a significantly higher likelihood of identifying more re-entry challenges. Targeted interventions, such as effective drug treatment, HIV care and public awareness campaigns, are crucial for stemming the HIV epidemic and improving health outcomes among HIV-infected prisoners in Malaysia.
Dangerfield D. T., 2nd, Gravitt P., Rompalo A. M., Yap I., Tai R., Lim S. H
International Journal of STD & AIDS. 2015; 26(1): 20-26
In Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal; little is known about access to HIV prevention services among Malaysian men who have sex with men (MSM). We analysed PT Foundation outreach data to describe the profiles among MSM who accessed PT Foundation services and to examine factors associated with being aware of PT Foundation and having visited the organization. A survey was administered during weekly outreach throughout Kuala Lumpur from March-December 2012. Pearson's Chi square tests were used to compare demographic and behavioural characteristics of participants who were and were not aware of the PT Foundation. Binary logistic regression was used to identify correlates of MSM visiting the PT Foundation among those who had heard of the organization. Of 614 MSM, this study found significantly higher awareness of the PT Foundation among MSM who perceived they had "good" HIV knowledge (p = .026) and participants who reported always using condoms (p = .009). MSM who reported being paid for sex were 2.81 times as likely to visit the PT Foundation compared to men who did not. A subgroup of MSM known to be at high risk for HIV infection is accessing prevention services. Future studies should uncover motivations and barriers of accessing these services among MSM in Malaysia.