Khairuddin, a veteran activist in the Malaysian HIV and AIDS scene, started off working with PENGASIH, an association for recovering drug users. He managed the therapeutic community programme at PENGASIH’s drug and substance abuse rehabilitation centre and was with them for 10 years. He ended his service there as the Head of Finance and Strategies.
He joined PT Foundation almost five years ago and was attached to the Ikhlas Drug User Programme as its Programme Manager. He led the implementation of the Needle Syringe Exchange Programme (NSEP) at Ikhlas and was instrumental in bringing the success of the initiative at that location.
In his spare time, Khairuddin enjoyed music very much. He played the blues harmonica with his friends and colleagues and at one time, was even part of a band. He was often invited to be part of awareness campaigns with young people among the high risk populations. Using songs, they included messages on the dangers of drugs and HIV transmission, and unsafe sex.
When I first started out in the HIV field almost 15 years ago, Khairuddin scared the living daylights out of me with his strict adherence to disciplined development of programmes. He reminded everyone of the burden of responsibility and the need to always be accountable to those who depend on you to speak for them, particularly the communities we work for.
For almost two decades, his dedication, perseverance, principled approach and commitment to helping others, especially those in the drug user community has been an example and an inspiration and will not be forgotten. He leaves behind his wife, family and all the people he has touched and made a difference in his life and work.
Khairuddin, we will miss you.
Written by :
Azrul Mohd Khalib
UNTG on HIV and AIDS Coordinator