Number of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Indonesia on the Rise

The HIV/AIDS problem in Indonesia needs to be addressed seriously as the number of people living with the condition continues to rise from year to year, the Health Ministry said.

To discuss key issues related to drug abuse and HIV/AIDS, the ministry, the United Nations, and the National AIDS Reduction Commission are to hold a round-table meeting on the topic at Hotel Mulia in Jakarta on August 30, 2010, it said in a press statement on Thursday.

According to the ministry’s data, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Indonesia as per June 2010 was 21,770 compared to only 607 a year earlier.

In terms of how they were infected, the data showed 10,722 cases happened through heterosexual relations, 718 through homo- and bisexual relations, 8,786 through drug injections, 20 through blood transfusion, 587 through perinatal transmission, and 937 cases by unknown means.

The government had launched a harm reduction program as one of its policies to reduce the adverse effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the community.

Meanwhile, Harry Azhar Aziz, Phd., vice chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR)`s Commission XI said in Jakarta on Thursday social and economic conditions were often the main factor in the emergence of AIDS cases in Indonesia.

“The low capacity of rural communities and economic gender inequality causes low levels of public education and lead to limited access to public information,” he said.

Therefore, the state budget funds particularly in the health sector should be used as optimally as possible, especially to familiarize the public with HIV/AIDS prevention methods.

“The health budget plays a very important role in improving people’s welfare, so the government should optimize the use of the budget to improve the welfare and quality of human resources in Indonesia,” he said.

Antara

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