Indonesia Needs To Scale Up HIV Treatment in Hospitals, Implement Confidential Case-Tracking System, Opinion Piece Says
If the number of HIV-positive people in Indonesia is "left to grow, the loss of a future working generation could hurt the nation," Warief Djajanto Basorie -- a writer who managed a yearlong journalists' workshop on HIV/AIDS at the Jakarta, Indonesia-based Dr. Soetomo Press Institute -- writes in a Jakarta Post opinion piece. The government estimates that there are between 90,000 and 130,000 HIV-positive people living in Indonesia, and as much as 85% are between the ages of 15 and 45, according to Djajanto. However, at the end of 2004, only an estimated 3,000 HIV-positive people in the country were receiving antiretroviral drugs, he says. In addition, all of the 25 hospitals designated for HIV/AIDS treatment do not have "adequate medical, nursing and counseling capacity," and the existing voluntary testing and counseling clinics in the hospitals do not "properly function," Djajanto writes. Health officials need to "scale up the means" of the hospitals, as well as establish a case-detection mechanism with help from nongovernmental organizations "that protects HIV-positive people from discrimination," he says. "The prospect of stopping the spread of HIV infection becomes dim when nations take a business-as-usual approach," Djajanto writes, concluding, "We all need to work harder to fight this disease" (Djajanto, Jakarta Post, 8/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.