A top Malaysian politician told the press that HIV-positive Muslims and non-Muslims should not be able to get married, reports Reuters UK. He said this would keep them from having sick children.

Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, chief minister of northern Perak—one of 13 states in the country—was quoted as saying, “Somebody who is very sick like that should not be allowed to get married.” He added, “If there's any breeding—sorry for having to use that word— the embryo will also carry the same virus. So that is even more unfair because you are actually passing that disease on to the child.”

These comments were in response to past remarks made from the Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, who said that all Muslim couples in peninsular Malaysia must undergo HIV screening before getting married.

In Malaysia, there are 76,389 reported cases of HIV. A 2006 survey showed that more housewives tested HIV positive than sex workers. The numbers of babies born with HIV has also increased, from 0.2 percent in 1991 to 1.4 percent in 2006.