Malaysia is expected to achieve reduced rates of new cases of HIV infection to not more than 11 cases for every 100,000 people this year, in line with the World Health Organisation's (WHO) target.

The Health Ministry's HIV/STI Disease Control Sector principal assistant director, Dr Fazidah Yuswan said it was optimistic that the target could be reached based on the rate of new cases recorded last year, which was 10.9 cases per 100,000 of the population.

"New HIV/AIDS infections worldwide recorded a decline of 35 per cent since the year 2000, while deaths due to AIDS dropped by 42 percent.

"Malaysia is following the world trend in this matter, recording a decline of 50 per cent in new HIV infection cases from the figure in 2002, and the trend has remained stable since 2010."

Dr Fazidah said this in her speech when officiating at the Pahang state-level World AIDS Day commemoration, here, Thursday, which was attended by about 500 local residents.

Based on the ministry's records, 83 per cent of people with HIV in this country are men while 61 per cent are aged 20 to 39.

"Almost 54 percent of the infections were through sexual intercourse," said Dr Fazidah.

She said the government and other concerned parties were committed to eradicating AIDS by 2030 by taking various proactive measures, including drawing up the National Strategic Plan for Ending AIDS 2016-2030 as a guideline for all the relevant agencies. -- Bernama