Indonesia To Increase HIV/AIDS Funding by 75% During Next Three Years, Minister Says
Indonesia plans to increase the amount of money it spends on controlling HIV/AIDS by 75% during the next three years and will focus on fighting the disease in the Papua province, Welfare Minister Aburizal Bakrie said on Thursday, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports. According to Bakrie, the government will increase spending on HIV/AIDS to $263 million by 2010 -- up from $67 million in 2006. The government also wants to reduce its dependency on international donors, which contribute up to 70% of the national HIV/AIDS budget, Bakrie said. Papua receives 4% of money budgeted for HIV/AIDS spending, according to the AP/Herald Tribune (AP/International Herald Tribune, 7/20).
A study funded by the World Bank, the U.S. government and Family Health International found that 48% of Papuans are unaware of HIV/AIDS, and the number of AIDS cases per 100,000 people in the province is almost 20 times the national average. In addition, the percentage of people who reported being unaware of HIV/AIDS increased to 74% among uneducated populations in the region. The study, which was released last month, called for increased funding for sex education and condom-distribution programs. Health authorities have said that if steps are not taken to reduce the spread of the virus in Papua and other high-prevalence regions, Indonesia could have one million HIV-positive people by 2010 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/20).
Indonesia has one of Asia's fastest-growing HIV epidemics, and up to 290,000 people are living with HIV out of the total population of 235 million, the AP/Herald Tribune reports. HIV in the country primarily is spread by injection drug use and commercial sex work, according to the AP/Herald Tribune (AP/International Herald Tribune, 7/20).