Indonesia's HIV/AIDS cases hit 298,000 — minister

December 1, 2009 12:05 am 

JAKARTA, Nov. 30 — The latest number of HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases in Indonesia has reached 298,000, Indonesian Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono said here on Monday.

"People living with AIDS are now found in every province in Indonesia with HIV/AIDS cases have occurred in half of municipal and regencies across the country," the minister who heads the national AIDS mitigation agency (the KPA), referring to the 33 provinces and 440 city and regencies across the country.

According to Agung, heterosexual intercourse with HIV/AIDS-risk people accounted for 49.7 percent of AIDS infection in Indonesia with the second largest factor responsible for the spread of AIDS was the using of a single syringe among drug abusers, which accounted for 40.7 percent.

Agung added that 49.57 percent AIDS cases in Indonesia occur among people in very productive ages ranging from 20 to 29 years old, followed by 29.84 percent in people with ages range of 30-39 years old.

According to the minister, Indonesia's cumulative average AIDS case number was set at 8.15 people each 100,000 people in the population as of September 2008.

Papua province apparently has the largest number AIDS cases in Indonesia as it has a rate of 17.98, or far from the national cumulative average AIDS case. It was followed by Bali (5.3), Jakarta (3.8), Riau province (3.4) and West Kalimantan (2.2), Agung said.

"People in Indonesia must take real acts to prevent the widespread of AIDS, not just showing their concerns over the high number of AIDS cases in the country," Agung said.

He said that the using of condoms was part of effective ways to prevent the AIDS from spreading since the largest AIDS infection was transferred through hetero sexual intercourse with HIV/AIDS-risk people.

The KPA chairman expected that with the extensive use of condoms, that reaches 80 percent among people with heterosexual behavior with HIV/AIDS-risk, Indonesia would be able to comply with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 for HIV/AIDS sector.

The use of condoms among people in that category that reached 8.2 million people, now stands between 10 to 12 percent, according to the data issued by the KPA. (PNA/Xinhua) vcs/utb

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