Commission on AIDS in Asia Releases Report About Prevention Efforts in Region
The Commission on AIDS in Asia last week at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City released a report about prevention efforts being made by countries in the region, the Jakarta Post/Asia News Network reports. According to the report, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and some states in India are among areas with high HIV/AIDS burdens that have experienced successes with their prevention efforts. The report also found that China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam and some states in India with low HIV/AIDS prevalences are among areas with moderate HIV/AIDS risks but have seen limited success with prevention initiatives.
According to the report, men's resistance to condom use in Indonesia could contribute to a large increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country during the next few years. Nafsiah Mboi, secretary to Indonesia's National AIDS Commission, said, "Our prevention measures have yet to reach optimum success because many high-risk people here still refuse to use condoms even though we have actually managed to reach them" through campaigns promoting condom use. She added, "This is different from Cambodia, for example, where people are willing to comply with the government campaigns for use of condoms."
Although about 5% of men in Indonesia visit commercial sex workers, only 30% of this population are willing to use condoms, Kemas Sirefar, deputy secretary for development at the AIDS commission, said, adding that if Indonesia does not take increased action to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people living with the disease could increase to more than one million by 2020. According to Mboi, the increase in HIV/AIDS in part would be because of the growing number of male clients of commercial sex workers, as well as the stigmatization of groups such as men who have sex with men (Maulia, Jakarta Post/Asia News Network, 8/14).
Kaisernetwork.org was the official webcaster of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. A webcast of a session about HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific is available online.