Truly frightening ... and tragic to read this.
The Sun tells us that in Malaysia, 'More housewives get HIV than sex workers'.
What have been the hubbies doing? Couldn’t they take basic precautions? I am sure this news will be to the despair of well-known Malaysian AIDS campaigner, sweetie Marina Mahathir.
And far more worrying is that Malaysia has one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemics in the East Asia and Pacific region, apparently rating an average 12 Malaysians testing positive for HIV each day - that's approximately 4,400 per annum!
Tunku Puteri Safinaz, chairperson of the Sultanah Bahiyah Foundation, said that as of December 2007, one in 6 new infections has been a woman, whereas 18 years ago only 1 in 86 was a woman.
Then she delivered the bombshell: “Shockingly, surveys show that in 2006 more housewives tested HIV-positive than sex workers.”
This fact has become a real concern because women (housewives) and children are particularly vulnerable to HIV, not just medically but (within our conservative Malaysian society) from the social stigma of such a tragic affliction.
HIV-AIDS can be kept under control for many years with effective treatment, but because of the social stigma, women whose families are affected by HIV and AIDS are terrified of the social ostracism, even from friends, extended family, colleagues and their communities.
Tunku Puteri Safinaz cited the case of a shopkeeper in Kedah who refused to allow a woman with HIV to enter his shop.
Hence they won't seek medical assistance for fear of revealing their family 'shame'. Sometimes the idiot of a husband refused to permit the wife to be treated.
The Sun reported Tunku Puteri Safinaz as warning: “Stigma can cause a woman to be so ashamed that she does not seek treatment – meaning an early death and young innocent child left without a mother.”
What more, and the most tragic of all, the poor children can be cruelly shunned by their teachers and friends.
As author Terry Pratchett said: "Cats are nasty cruel bastards but that's because they are cats. As far as we know, they have no grasp of the concept of not being nasty cruel bastards. Humans, on the other hand, do.”
But it's hardly surprising there's such a cruel attitude amongst Malaysians when there's a bloke, in fact a mufti in a state, who openly stated he wants to exile Malaysians afflicted with HIV to an isolated island, but far more shameful than his cruel pronouncement, he was allowed to get away with such a draconian statement.
Allah swt may be compassionate but this guy sure isn't.