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Official: AIDS in Indonesian grows rampantly
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16:30, December 01, 2008

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Indonesia became one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemic countries in Asia due to lack of intensive programs to prevent people living with AIDS spreading the virus.

"The current survey reveals that Indonesian people living with AIDS growing to 200,000 cases, while our report on those infected show 21,151 cases," the Sindo daily on Monday quoted Nafsiah Mboi, the chairperson of Secretariat of Indonesian national AIDS commission (KPA), as saying.

According to Nafsiah, Thailand succeeded in fighting the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, after its government made warning campaign much earlier than Indonesia. "Thailand started in the 1990s with its prompt actions. Thailand's AIDS commission is also directly authorized by the prime minister. It proves Thailand government's seriousness and fast response to AIDS prevention," she said.

Indonesia's AIDS epidemic cases were caused mostly by intravenous drug users and commercial sex workers. Half of new infections were found in the easternmost Papua province. KPA and the Indonesian government have been making several efforts to curb AIDS such as improving access to condoms, testing and counseling.

WHO warned late last year that Indonesia showed a trend that its AIDS epidemic was still not under control, compared to neighboring Thailand and Cambodia, where rates of infection appear to stabilizing.

Source: Xinhua

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