Health minister promotes voluntary HIV test on World AIDS Day

Surabaya, E. Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesias Health Minister Nila F Moeloek has promoted the voluntary HIV test for public during the commemoration of World AIDS Day in Surabaya, which has the highest number of HIV virus infection in the country.

"East Java is a province with high rate of HIV infection, along with Jakarta, Papua, West and Central Java," Nila said.

The call was part of Care for HIV/AIDS campaign under the slogan of TOP, which focuses on the efforts to find HIV-infected persons, to cure them and to maintain their quality of life.

The minister added that the government has a special concern on HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, as the number of people living with HIV/AIDS (ODHA) has reached 191,073 from 2005 to December 2015.

Some 66 percent of HIV/AIDS cases are sexually transmitted as a result of heterosexual relationships, 11 percent through contaminated syringes, three percent through gay sexual relations and three percent from infected mothers.

The highest number of HIV/AIDS infection were found among housewives (10,626 cases), followed by non-professional workers (9,603 cases), entrepreneurs (9,439 cases), farmers/fishermen (3,674 cases), laborers (3,191 cases), sex workers (2,578 cases), civil servants (1,819 cases) and students (1,764 cases).

"These data has become our basis in the strategy to focus on approaches to family and the community to prevent and control HIV/AIDS," she remarked.

Nila said that HIV/AIDS prevention and control should be done jointly by the government and all the elements of the society to achieve its goals.

She pointed out that the government would need to empower the society to improve its capability to develop a healthy life style and play an active role in health sector development.

"We hope and call on the society to not be hesitant or afraid to take the HIV test, not to discriminate those who have taken the HIV test, and not to give bad stigma to HIV-infected persons, because every single person carries the same chance of being infected by HIV," she stressed.(*)

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