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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 HIV/AIDS patients in Bali may exceed 7000 - Jakarta Post

HIV/AIDS patients in Bali may exceed 7000 - Jakarta Post

HIV/AIDS patients in Bali may exceed 7,000

The National Commission on HIV/AIDS Treatment (KPAN) and the Health Ministry estimates that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Bali as of this year has reached 7,317 people, mostly sex workers.

The 3,017 patients said to have contracted HIV/AIDS from sex workers were feared to have transmitted the deadly infection to their partners and children, with the estimated number of this group reaching 668.

"The number of partners infected with HIV is increasing drastically. This should be seriously anticipated," said a local HIV/AIDS activist Putu Utami.

Injecting Drug Users (IDU) are the second largest group of people living with this infection, totaling 1,371 patients.

In the latest report by the Bali HIV/AIDS Commission published Saturday, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among IDU, sex workers and their customers and partners, as well as transvestites and prisoners, is increasing.

Children are excluded from the report despite the high occurrence of HIV/AIDS among the group, which reached at least 100 patients as estimated by the Kerthi Praja Foundation (YKP) and the commission.

As of April, the Bali Health Agency recorded there were nearly 4,000 HIV/AIDS patients in the province, 70 percent of which were infected through heterosexual intercourse and 22 percent being IDU.

The infection is rising among high-risk groups, particularly sex workers, customers and their partners.

HIV/AIDS researcher Dewa Nyoman Wirawan said the KPAN estimation was reasonable, considering the prevalence of HIV-positive cases among sex workers had reached 22 percent, based on the latest survey result by the health agency..

On January 2007, the Bali HIV/AIDS Commission estimated that the number of infected people in Bali had reached 4,041.

"Now the number has almost doubled. It's a really huge increase," said Wirawan, who assists HIV/AIDS patients through the YKP he established in Denpasar.

He said the treatment of HIV/AIDS cases in Bali was now focusing on the prevention of sexual infection and PMTCT (the prevention of mother-to-child transmission).

This method is expected to minimize infection in newly born infants of HIV-positive mothers.

According to WHO, there is a 5 percent possibility that a mother transmits the infection to her child during the pregnancy period, a 15 percent possibility when the mother delivers the baby and a 10 percent chance through breast-feeding.

Areas with the highest prevalence are Denpasar, Badung, Buleleng and Jembrana, the report said.

Forty-six percent of the patients are those aged between 20 to 29 years of age, while 36 percent are aged between 30-39 years.

HIV/AIDS cases in Bali also occurred in foreigners.

In 1987, when cases were diagnosed in Bali for the first time, there were six patients from The Netherlands, five from the US and four from East Timor.



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