Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, now hosts the world’s first methadone program operating out of a mosque, The New York Times reports. The program, which supports 50 patients and has been in operation since 2010, is funded by the country’s health ministry and run by doctors from the University of Malaysia, who hope to expand the program to two other mosques and two Hindu temples. Patients pay 15 ringgit (about $4.90) per week, and they must participate in Muslim prayers for the first eight weeks of the program in order to receive treatment. Malaysia’s methadone program started in 2005 to combat increasing HIV transmission via intravenous drug use. The number of HIV cases dropped by half during the following four years, only to rise in 2010 once unprotected sex became the primary mode of HIV transmission in the country.
To read the Times article, click here.