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HIV/AIDS cases continue to increase in regions

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Aiding each other: Several youths hold balloons to commemorate World AIDS Day at the Catur Muka monument in Denpasar, Bali, on Tuesday. The youths called on the public not to discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS and to stay away from drugs and casual sexual relationships.(JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

The number of HIV/AIDS cases in a number of regions of Indonesia continues to increase as people around the globe commemorate World AIDS Day.

The closure of the Dolly red-light district in Surabaya by Mayor Tri Rismaharini in June this year is feared to have increased the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in a number of nearby regions.

NGO Our Right To Be Independent (Orbit) has revealed that some commercial sex workers operating in cities around Surabaya were former inhabitants of Dolly.

“We found a sex worker in Krengseng red-light district, near the Tarik district railway station in Sidoarjo regency, for example, who used to work at Dolly,” Orbit activist Witanto said on Tuesday.

Increasing numbers of commercial sex workers, he said, were also evident in other neighboring regions such as along the Berantas River embankment in Tulungagung regency.

According to Orbit Foundation’s data, increased HIV/AIDS prevalence was also found in Malang, Sidoarjo, Banyuwangi, Mojokerto, Jember, Kediri, Pasuruan and Madiun.

Surabaya AIDS Prevention Commission (KPA) secretary Sophiati Sutjahjani, however, said that there was no correlation between the Dolly closure and increasing HIV/AIDS prevalence in a number of cities in East Java.

“HIV/AIDS can only be detected six to seven years after infection occurs. If many cases have been found now, you cannot say it’s because of the Dolly closure,” Sophiati told The Jakarta Post.

An increase in HIV/AIDS cases was also detected in Yogyakarta as the Provincial Health Agency recorded 45 HIV-positive public transportation drivers from 1993 to 2015.

Using the World Health Organization (WHO) standard — in which a confirmed HIV-positive person represents 10 unknown cases — then the number of HIV-positive public transportation drivers is predicted to be 450 in Yogyakarta province.

“People working in the transportation sector are [considered to be at] high risk,” the provincial KPA secretary Riswanto said on the sidelines of a seminar on HIV/AIDS in Yogyakarta on Tuesday.

“In HIV/AIDS mitigation, we talk about the 3M group, or mobile men with money,” he added.

If men in this category are infected with HIV, there is a chance they will transfer the virus to their respective spouses.

“Drivers and transportation crew members have to start living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding behavior that risks HIV infection, such as changing sex partners and not using condoms,” Riswanto said.

Tri Wahyu, a driver of a tourist bus who took a free HIV/AIDS test at the seminar venue said that he wanted to know if he was infected with HIV or not.

“I once enjoyed sex with women other than my wife,” he said.

Yogyakarta Health Agency recorded a total of 3,146 HIV-positive cases from 1993 to September this year, of which 1,249 had entered the AIDS phase.

Meanwhile in Riau, the provincial health agency together with the local KPA, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and a number of NGOs held a rally to commemorate World’s AIDS Day on Tuesday, distributing flowers and ribbons to visitors and passengers at the Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Pekanbaru.

Riau Health Agency head Andra Sjafril said the campaign was held to remind people to maintain healthy and responsible sexual behavior to avoid HIV/AIDS.

“The mission is to prevent people from being infected by HIV/AIDS, which still has no cure,” Andra said, Tuesday.

As of October 2015, Riau recorded 1,889 cases of HIV, the 16th highest number among the 34 provinces.

Sumber: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/02/hivaids-cases-continue-increase-regions.html#sthash.BBNeaFUk.dpuf

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