Australia, Indonesia Sign Agreement To Expand HIV/AIDS Services in Jakarta
Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer and Fauzi Bowo, governor of Indonesia's capital of Jakarta, on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding to expand HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at 30 community health centers in the city, the Jakarta Post reports. The agreement "represents another step forward for HIV prevention and treatment in Indonesia," Farmer said, adding that Australia is "proud to be assisting Indonesia in its commitment to combat the spread of HIV and support those already living with the virus."
The agreement will increase access to HIV education, counseling and testing; clean needles; drug treatment, including methadone programs; basic health care; and education on antiretroviral treatment. According to the Post, the agreement also will create two new methadone programs in Jakarta (Jakarta Post , 2/13). Bowo said that the number of HIV-positive people in Jakarta has "soared" in the past year. The Post reports that 4,467 people in Jakarta were living with HIV/AIDS as of January, an increase of 700 cases since 2000 (Jakarta Post , 2/13). According to the Post, the provinces of Banten, Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta are expected to be involved in similar agreements that will provide HIV services to about 100 community health centers (Jakarta Post , 2/13).