Los programas de reducción de daños en Malasia han conseguido reducir las infecciones de VIH transmitidas por compartir agujas y jeringas contaminadas, y ahora se están expandiendo en todo el país.
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Malaysia is combating an epidemic of HIV infections transmitted through sharing contaminated needles and syringes. In 2006, the government initiated limited programs of "harm reduction" interventions. The program included the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP), a program where people who inject drugs are offered clean needles and syringes, and Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT), a program offering heroin addicts enrollment in rehabilitation therapy where heroin is replaced with synthetic methadone. These harm reduction programs have succeeded, and Malaysia has now expanded them nationwide.
These harm reduction interventions also have been shown to be cost-effective, according to new research led by the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA) at the University of Malaya, in collaboration with the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales and funded by the World Bank. Such interventions can be expected to avert 23,241 new HIV infections as well as result in savings of RM210 million in direct health care costs – producing a return of RM1.07 for every ringgit spent over the next ten years.
The study estimated that 12,653 HIV infections were successfully averted since 2006 with the implementation of these NSP and MMT harm reduction programmes, targeting people who inject drugs. These averted infections have resulted in savings of RM47.1 million in direct health care costs, which the government would have had to spend on treatment and monitoring, demonstrating that harm reduction programmes in Malaysia are highly cost-effective.
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