After a one-year hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic, The Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) Red Ribbon Gala made its spectacular return in December 2021, raising RM1.5million to help underprivileged Malaysians living with HIV gain access to live-saving antiretroviral treatments.
In her speech, MAF chairman Professor Dato’ Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman revealed that the foundation was getting closer to its goal to end AIDS in Malaysia by 2030, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We are accelerating our AIDS mission as we rebound from Covid-19, which has only reminded us of the grim reality of the early years of the AIDS pandemic when treatment was wishful thinking," she said.
“Thanks to 40 years of scientific progress, we now have the most powerful tool—the antiretroviral treatment—that can turn the tide on HIV/AIDS for good. It is therefore imperative that we continue to place treatment at the core of our response.”
The foundation’s signature black tie fundraiser was officiated by Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and graced by other prominent figures including MAF Patron Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, MAF executive director Jasmin Jalil, Sunway Group chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah and more.
“Continued access to antiretroviral treatment significantly improves protection from Covid-19 for people living with HIV, and this is the immediate priority as we continue to grapple with the impact of the pandemic,” said Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir in her speech.