The Jakarta Post
The Papua administration is stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of HIV by providing antibody tests to pregnant women seeking healthcare services at hospitals or community health centers.
By finding pregnant women who test positive for HIV, health authorities can take measures to prevent the transmission of the chronic disease to their babies.
“This is one of the ways to cut the HIV transmission chain in Papua,” Papua Health Agency secretary Silwanus Sumule said in a public dialogue in Jayapura on Tuesday.
The Health Ministry’s HIV sub-directorate official Triya Novita Dinihari said the government was aiming to achieve the “three zeroes” by 2030, during which Indonesia would see no more new HIV/AIDS infections, AIDS-related deaths or stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (ODHA).
Triya said all stakeholders must work together because preventing HIV/AIDS was not the sole responsibility of the Health Ministry.
“All societal elements, including religious and traditional leaders and community figures, must be involved. This is because introducing HIV control and prevention in grassroots communities will be effective only if it involves leaders in society,” said Triya.
Data shows that 97 percent of HIV infections in Papua have been transmitted via sexual intercourse. Around 16,620, 57.57 percent, of total HIV cases in the province affect people at the productive age of between 25 and 49 years.
The Papua Health Agency records that as of June, it found 27,771 HIV/AIDS cases, which had spread in the province since 1992. Of the total, 10,134 cases are HIV while the remaining cases are AIDS, of which 1,883 patients have died. (ebf)