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|AIDS/HIV News Archive: INDONESIA|
Indonesian Minister Warns of HIV/AIDS Cases Threat 19/11/03 -- DXinhua News Agency
On Wednesday, Indonesian Health Minister Achmad Sujudi warned of a
rise in HIV/AIDS cases in the country. Quoting health ministry
statistics, Sujudi said that at the end of September there were 3,924
HIV cases in Indonesia, 1,239 of which were AIDS cases. However,
Indonesia's numbers are still lower than those in Thailand, Malaysia,
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the national news agency Antara quoted
Sujudi as saying. In Malaysia, 51,000 HIV/AIDS cases have been
Indonesia's Insulation from HIV/AIDS Wears Thin 19/06/03 -- Deutsche Presse-Agentur
The cultural and religious norms that have spared
Indonesia from an HIV/AIDS epidemic may be the same factors
that hinder prevention efforts in the country, experts
warn. Indonesia shares the same ingredients that sparked an
HIV/AIDS epidemic in neighboring Thailand - a serious IV
drug abuse problem, a booming sex industry, high STD rates,
a large mobile labor pool, and a local reluctance to using
Despite this, Indonesia's highest estimate for HIV
infections is 130,000 with only 3,614 actual reported cases
as of March 31 of this year, compared to Thailand's 670,000
cases. But part of the discrepancy may be due to
underreporting. "It's a totally passive reporting system,"
said Stephen Wignall, Indonesia director for Family Health
International, which has been working with the Indonesian
government to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Last May, the government announced a comprehensive
HIV/AIDS strategy, including setting the goal of 100
percent condom use among high-risk groups, according to
UNAIDS. But getting the message across poses problems. A
safe sex advertisement depicting men visiting a brothel was
pulled from Indonesian television stations last September
because Muslim groups felt it was promoting promiscuity and
The incident has raised serious questions about
whether Islam, which may have helped Indonesia avoid an
HIV/AIDS epidemic so far, will hinder the more crucial need
for a safe sex campaign.
For his part, Tarmizi Taher, a former Indonesian
Minister of Religion, is calling for the country's two
major Muslim organizations to initiate dialogue about the
need for condoms and clean needle use. But he acknowledges,
"you have to use the right sentences to persuade people."
"We call it an emergency, because under Islamic law if
there is an emergency you can change the rules," said
HIV Sneaks Up on Indonesia After Suharto 01/06/03 -- San Francisco Chronicle
As recently as 1999, Indonesia barely registered on the AIDS
map, with fewer than 1,000 of the nation's 210 million
inhabitants known to be HIV-positive. But after the collapse of
the regime of Gen. Suharto in 1998, the rise of illegal drug
trafficking gave AIDS workers concern about an emerging high-risk
group - heroin addicts who share infected needles.
The Indonesian government estimates there are between
124,000 and 196,000 IV drug users in the country, yet some health
experts say that number could be closer to 1 million. And
according to the Indonesian AIDS Commission, HIV infection rates
among drug addicts have soared from nearly zero in 1998 to more
than 50 percent in cities like Jakarta and Denpasar. "HIV snuck
up on Indonesia and whacked it on the back of the head before
anyone knew what was going on," said Wayne Wiebel, regional
advisor to the nonprofit group Family Health International.
Indonesia's infection rate remains low in comparison with
other Southeast Asian countries, but health experts agree that
the HIV rate is increasing sharply - not only among IV drug
users, but also among the estimated 190,000 to 270,000 sex
workers and 1 million migrant workers. A National AIDS Commission
report demonstrates that 6 percent to 26 percent of sex workers
are HIV-positive. And about 10 percent of migrant workers have
Despite condom sales doubling since 1998 - to 60 million a
year - fewer than 10 percent of all men report using them, said
UNAIDS. "Our distribution is pretty good now, so it's a
behavioral issue. The condoms are there - but will they buy in?"
said Christopher Purdy, country director of DKT International, a
charity organization that specializes in family planning.
Until now, Indonesia's AIDS efforts have focused on
prevention and education. However, a recent UNICEF survey showed
of 1,000 youths ages 14 to 17 showed that 84 percent "knew little
or nothing about HIV/AIDS." AIDS activists say the government
will have to expand care and treatment as cases continue to
Indonesian TV Stations Yank Condom Ads 25/09/02 -- Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Indonesian TV stations dropped a condom ad aimed at
preventing the spread of HIV after the commercial was criticized
by several Muslim organizations. The ad was jointly developed by
five Indonesian TV stations in cooperation with AIDS
organizations. It shows young men who visit a brothel and opt to
use condoms. The Jakarta Post reported that the decision to drop
the ad was prompted by harsh criticism from several Muslim
organizations, including the radical Indonesian Mujahiddin
Council, which claimed the commercial was pornographic and
encouraged promiscuity. Advocates estimate at least 120,000
people have HIV/AIDS in Indonesia, which is the world's most
populous Muslim country.
East Timor Hopes to Avoid AIDS Epidemic 04/04/02 -- Reuters Health
The East Timor government and the UN launched an AIDS
awareness campaign last week on television, radio and print
media, hoping the country can avoid the explosion in HIV/AIDS
seen elsewhere in the region. East Timor, due to gain official
independence from Indonesia on May 20, has so far avoided an
epidemic, but officials said social dislocation and cross-border
migration, together with high unemployment, illiteracy among the
rural population and low awareness about HIV, meant there was
significant risk. East Timor Vice Minister for Health Joao
Martins said preliminary estimates showed the rate of HIV
infection at .64 percent of people of reproductive age. Cambodia,
Thailand and Myanmar have HIV rates of more than 1 percent,
according to UNAIDS. The government and UN applauded the Catholic
Church for its cooperation in establishing its own program to
raise HIV/AIDS awareness.
Indonesia Launches National Drive to Combat AIDS 03/28/02 -- Agence France Presse
On Thursday, Indonesia launched a national campaign to
combat HIV/AIDS. "The cabinet meeting decided on the
establishment of a national movement to combat AIDS. It is hoped
that this movement will attract more public involvement," Health
Minister Achmad Suyudi told reporters. Suyudi said the government
would provide cheaper drugs for the poor with the disease. In a
report last year, the National AIDS Commission estimated 3,856
have died of AIDS in Indonesia between 1987 and 2000. It said HIV
infections had risen to alarmingly high levels among drug
injectors, with 40 percent of injectors who were undergoing
treatment in Jakarta testing positive for HIV in 2001. HIV
infection among sex workers and transvestites had also risen
sharply. HIV infection among sex workers was especially high in
several places, standing at 17 percent in the capital Jakarta and
26 percent in one site in easternmost Papua province.
Irianese Women Targeted in HIV/AIDS Campaign 30/09/01 -- Jakarta Post
Irian Jaya has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia.
"The curve of HIV spread follows that of Papua New Guinea or the
African curve; it has reached an alarming level," said Dr. Paul
Crouch-Chivers, who works for the mining company PT Freeport
Indonesia. Part of the speed of transmission can be attributed to
the Irianese way of life. Doctors, health officials and
nongovernmental organization workers say the male members of many
local communities practice sexual activities such as exchanging
wives, passing on widows to younger brothers and acquiring new
partners. Also, sex without foreplay -which can injure the
genitals -is a common practice. Heterosexual intercourse is the
main means by which HIV is spread in the region.
As of June 2001, official figures from Irian Jaya showed 599
people had contracted HIV, 224 of whom developed full-blown AIDS.
The number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in Indonesia has
reached 1,956 overall, meaning Irian Jaya's figures make up
almost 30 percent of cases in Indonesia. Crouch-Chivers said
while the HIV epidemic in mining communities in Timika was in the
early stages, "the annual incidence rate would continue to
increase unless there were significant changes in sexual behavior
by using condoms or limiting the number of partners."
Officials, doctors and activists said special attention
needs to be directed at mothers. "I am sure we will start to see
infected new-born babies in the future," Crouch-Chivers said.
Surveys by an Irian Jaya health agency show that sexual
harassment and ill treatment of wives is rampant among the local
population in villages and towns. "Some women still have sexual
intercourse with their husbands although they know that their
husbands are infected," said Dr. Gunawan Ingkokusumo, a senior
member of staff of a health agency in Jayapura. He said the
HIV/AIDS problem in Irian Jaya was similar to a fire ignited in a
dry forest. "If we are not alert to the fire, it will spread and
scorch a big part of the human resources needed to build this
province," Ingkokusumo said.
STDs Among Clients of a Women's Health
Mobile Clinic in Rural Bali 01/01 --
International Journal of STD & AIDS Online
Researchers attempted to determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among women attending a women's
health mobile clinic in rural Bali, Indonesia. Of the more than
300 women, more than half had at least one reproductive tract
infection (RTI), and nearly 20 percent had at least one STD.
Based on their findings, the researchers calls for greater STD
prevention efforts, RTI/STD management, and condom promotion in
the rural region.
MOST HIV/AIDS CASES IDENTIFIED TOO LATE
Apr 24, 1997
JAKARTA -- A 1990 to 1996 survey shows that most cases of HIV and AIDS here are identified in the later stages, a physician said yesterday. Zubairi Djoerban, chairman of the health non-governmental organization Pelita Ilmu, said this was due to medical personnel's poor knowledge of HIV/AIDS, including how to diagnose and prevent it.
Medical personnel should know the clinical symptoms and infections related to the condition, he said. Medical staff without proper knowledge of HIV/AIDS could be infected with the condition and transmit it, he said.
The latest official figures record 524 HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia, including 74 people who have died. Jakarta has 164 reported cases. These include one AIDS and one HIV case found in March. Prior to this, official statistics recorded 61 AIDS cases and 101 HIV cases in the city. The foundation said the last seven reported HIV/AIDS cases were found in Jakarta, Bali and North Sumatra. -- Copyright 1997 The Jakarta Post.
Number of People With HIV Reaches 466 in Indonesia
Dec 28, 1996
The number of HIV infections in Indonesia has reached 466, and 112 people have developed AIDS. A total of 128 foreigners were reported to have HIV or AIDS. Approximately 63 percent of
the HIV cases were transmitted through heterosexual contact, and women were found to be more likely than men to contract HIV through sex with different partners. A majority of the infected individuals are between the ages of 15 and 59. --Xinhua News Agency
Indonesia Against Condoms to Stem AIDS -- Minister
Nov 6, 1996
The use of condoms to curb the spread of HIV will not be advocated by the Indonesian government because the practice is not culturally appropriate, Health Minister Suydi said. The Antara news agency quoted Suydi as telling a meeting of the Indonesian Medical Association that "the most suitable method for us is counseling and not distributing condoms." Condoms will be distributed by the government in areas where prostitution is prevalent, he added. -- Reuters
Experts say 12,000 die yearly of AIDS
Oct 29, 1996
JAKARTA -- A research group from the University of Indonesia predictedyesterday that between 12,000 and 31,000 people are already dying inIndonesia every year due to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The estimate, published in a report by the Center for Health Research, contrasts sharply with the official statistics on AIDS and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The real figures are far higher because Indonesia does not have an effective system for monitoring the real number of HIV and AIDS cases, Meiwita said. "There has been a low number of reported HIV-positive cases because they are detected after they develop into AIDS," Meiwita said.
An even bigger concern than the HIV-related deaths is the fact that by 2000, between 200,000 and 550,000 children will lose their parents, Meiwita said. -- Jakarta Post
CHANGE YOUR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
May 11, 1996
YOGYAKARTA: If Indonesians do not change their sexual behavior, the state may have to spend Rp 33 trillion (US$15 billion) to control AIDS beginning in the year 2000, an expert warned yesterday. Dadang Hawari, a medical expert from the Jakarta-based University of Indonesia, said in a seminar that the permissive attitudes of Indonesians towards sex could hasten the spread of AIDS. "Indonesia's state budget for the year 2000 stands at Rp 95 trillion. That means that the almost one-third of the budget may have to be used to control AIDS," he said.
-- copyright 1996 The Jakarta Post. SOURCES SOUTHEAST ASIA
Indonesia AIDS at a Glance
Apr 16, 1996
INDONESIA -- The sex trade in Indonesia is thought to be largely responsible for the rapid increase in the country's number of HIV infections and AIDS cases. However, a two-year-old program that promotes AIDS awareness among prostitutes in Jakarta is resulting in dramatic improvement in condom use. A total of 380 cases of HIV or AIDS have been reported in the country, but experts say the number of cases could be as high as 200,000. As in most Asian countries, in Indonesia the virus is spread primarily through heterosexual contact. -- United Press International
HIV Cases Climb in Indonesia
Apr 5, 1996
INDONESIA -- The health ministry in Indonesia has added 10 cases of HIV to its roll, bringing the total number of infected individuals to 390. Hadi M. Abednego, head of contagious diseases in the country, said the new cases were identified in a one- month period. Government officials warned that the disease could spread to 2.5 million individuals by the year 2000 if precautions are not taken. Health officials added that HIV is spreading more rapidly in Asia because of changes in cultural and moral values and sexual norms brought on by tourism. -- United Press International
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