July 6, 2009

Indonesia province declares AIDS emergency

Officials in Indonesia's West Java province have declared a state of emergency in the fight against AIDS.

West Java Gov. Ahmad Heryawan said Tuesday at a coordination meeting of the provincial AIDS commission that the infection rates for AIDS and the virus that causes it, human immunodeficiency virus, are higher among homemakers than for sex workers in the province, The Jakarta Post reported Monday.

This is very concerning, particularly because most of the people living with HIV/AIDS here are in their productive ages, Heryawan said.

The governor cited a report by the AIDS commission that put the number of homemakers in the province diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at 295, while the same report said 259 cases of the disease have been diagnosed among sex workers.

Heryawan said nearly 85 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in West Java, about 3,838 people, are between the ages of 15 and 49.