Kong (not his real name), 48, is a recipient of the YSD-MAF PAL Scheme (Medicine Assistance Scheme).

Single and the youngest in a family of three, he was diagnosed with HIV in 2000.

He works on his parents’ vegetable farm in Kluang earning RM 350 per month. Despite their hardship, Kong’s family members have been very supportive of him. They are aware of his HIV status and try to ease his financial burden by helping him purchase the medication needed for his treatment. However, Kong realised the financial difficulties he was putting his family through as they have to fork out more than RM1,000 per month for his second-line medicine, Kaletra.

So he is very grateful to MAF for selecting him to be a beneficiary of the PAL Scheme and his health has greatly improved since being on the programme. His CD4+ count has stabilised and for the past one year, it has averaged between 460 – 465 cells per cubic ml and his viral load is currently undetectable.

Kong described the PAL Scheme as a second shot at life as the medication has enabled him to work and earn a living (no matter how small) like any ordinary person. He wants to continue helping his elderly parents and return his siblings’ good deed who have stood by him through the hard times.