Unprotected sex and the sharing of needles are the leading causes for HIV/AIDS.
While there is no cure to HIV/AIDS, with medicine’s recent breakthroughs, there are various types of medication that can help treat and control it.
On the other hand, the medication PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is used to prevent the spread of the disease in people who have not been exposed to it yet.
PrEP is the most common medicine for people who are HIV negative but have a higher risk of acquiring it due to their lifestyles or the people they engage with.
When used as directed, PrEP has shown to reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to 99%.
One might believe that all humans are entitled to the same medical assistance regardless of their social backgrounds or lifestyles, but in Malaysia, as of today, a recent development has challenged that belief.
The Jabatan Mufti Selangor has prohibited the administration of PrEP to those who are in homosexual relationships. According to them, the medication can only be prescribed to married heterosexual couples.
The reasoning behind this is that by administering PrEP to homosexual couples, we are inadvertently conspiring in sin and vices, as reported by Sinar Harian.
It was also reported that Faculty Dean of Quran Sunnah Studies at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Profesor Madya Dr Ahmad Sanusi Azmi, said, “The free administering of PrEP for the LGBT community will distance them from the teachings of Islam, specifically homosexuality.”
The topic of PrEP was discussed during a roundtable talk on the programme, Di Sebalik Isu bersama FY, where Finaz Yunus was appointed the moderator.
After the talk, the news broke and Finaz shared the poster on her Twitter account. Check it out below:
Terima kasih @MuftiSelangor !!
Moga lebih banyak Jabatan Mufti Negeri lain tampil dengan pendirian & pandangan sama.
Mufti Selangor turut menetapkan HARUS buat pasangan suami isteri
— FINAZ YUNUS (@FinazYunus) January 19, 2023
On her Instagram, the journalist cum producer added, “It thrills me to read the Mufti Selangor’s opinion on this matter. Even though we anticipate backlash from this opinion, we submit all efforts and trials into Allah’s hands.”
While the panelists and Mufti Selangor are celebrating, Malaysian netizens seem to be divided on the matter.
On Twitter, many netizens are expressing outrage, stating that inhibiting medical assistance, to which everyone is entitled to by law, is a crime.
Not only that, netizens are saying that injecting religion into medical practices and only targeting the LGBT community is both unfair and unjust, considering that if we were to punish a selected group of “sinners”, then we should punish them all – without discrimination.
This is in reference to smokers. Since smoking is a sin, should we deny medical assistance to those who developed lung cancer due to their “lifestyle”?
Many are also questioning the reasoning behind only administering it to heterosexual married couples, who are not considered high-risk for the contraction of HIV/AIDS.
Borrowing from their logic, will this encourage these couples to engage in sexual relations outside of the marriage? Is that not a sin?
Since this fiery debate was sparked by those who are neither in the medical field nor have any power to implement policies within it, this decision will most likely never see fruition but it does not take away from the various implications that could arise if people started taking this seriously.
Will we take responsibility for the inevitable upsurge of deaths and lives irrevocably affected by this knee-jerk decision to revoke the necessary right of all Malaysians to medicine?
Will we take responsibility for the draining of funds used in court proceedings to prove a person’s sexual orientation, which in itself is intangible and incredibly nuanced?
Will we take responsibility for the mental and physical duress of doctors who swore the Hippocratic Oath, yet now have to treat chronically ill patients whom otherwise would have been perfectly healthy if not for this violation of our constitution?
Our faith should not be rooted within the intention to cause harm towards others.
Since religion is the driving force behind this decision, it should be made clear that murder is a sin and by upholding this practice, we are knowingly killing people.