Solo in fight against HIV/AIDS
At least 80 new cases of HIV/AIDS had been recorded by the Surakarta (Solo) Municipal Health Agency in Central Java as of May this year, an official said on Wednesday.
Head of the agency’s disease control and environment sanitation (P2PL) division, Titiek Kadarsih, said that her office had recorded a total of 762 cases of HIV/AIDS since October 2005, 252 of whom did not survive.
“We cannot say if the figure is high or low because we are not sure if it represents the total number of people with HIV/AIDS both in Surakarta and in the surrounding regions,” Titiek said.
She said the figure was collected from the reports compiled by the Dr. Oen Hospital, Moewardi Hospital and Puskesmas (community health center) at Manahan in Surakarta.
They are the three institutions that have so far been the referral centers for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Greater Solo, which covers Boyolali, Karanganyar, Klaten, Sragen, Sukoharjo, Surakarta and Wonogiri.
Titiek added that of the 762 cases, 173 were Surakartans, 56 of whom had died. Data at the agency also shows that most sufferers were aged between 25 and 49 years of age and that the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS between the ages of 0–15 years was almost triple of those aged between 15 and 19.
To help curb the spread of the disease, the Surakarta municipal administration has for the last two years been intensifying its outreach efforts concerning PMTCT (preventive mother to child transmission) to minimize perinatal HIV transmission.
Under the program, pregnant women identified with HIV/AIDS are referred to clinics or hospitals providing VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) services.
Separately, Surakarta’s AIDS Commission (KPA) secretary, Harsojo Soepodo, expressed his concern that many people with HIV/AIDS did not want others to know about their status. As such, they refused to seek medical check ups or consultations.