Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Twenty-seven mayors in West Java Province, Indonesia, signed an HIV/AIDS Declaration to demonstrate their leadership in the ongoing fight against the infection in the country, according to AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) press release.

During the Chairs of AIDS Commission Summit Meeting in the West Java Province, all 27 mayors in front of the West Java Governor, Ahmad Heryawan, pledged to be unified in their response against HIV/AIDS, in Bandung, today, August 9, 2017.

The Secretary of The West Java Provincial AIDS Commission, Iman Tedja Rachmana said, "We are very pleased to be partnered with AHF. The collaboration between government and the world’s largest AIDS NGO will help us reach more people across the country through testing, treatment and care."

To make it official, all the mayors signing the declaration together. "Today is an important milestone for future HIV work in Indonesia," said AHF Indonesia Country Program Manager, Riki Febrian.

"While world leaders are paying less attention to HIV/AIDS, 27 mayors broke the silence and have shown that high-level leadership is essential. AHF will keep our promise on AIDS and continue to provide testing and treatment to those in need," he said.

Important aspects of the declaration include: the improvement of overall HIV healthcare services; youth and young adult education­, with an added focus on women’s reproductive health; increased testing for high-risk populations; and reducing stigma and discrimination against those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Data from the Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia indicated that the first HIV case was reported in 1987 and until March 2017, the cumulative number of HIV infectionsin Indonesia has reached 242.699 cases while AIDS has reached 87.453 cases. The highest number of HIV cases is found in DKI Jakarta (46.758), East Java (33.043), Papua (25.586), West Java (24.650), and Central Java (18.038), whereas the highest number of AIDS cases is found in East Java (17.014), Papua (13.398), DKI Jakarta (8.769), Bali (6.824), Central Java (6.531), and West Java (5.289). In the West Java Province, HIV/AIDS cases have now been reported in all 27 districts and cities.

"Globally–in 2016 alone–we had 1 million AIDS deaths, 2 million new infections and 20 million people not receiving treatment,” said AHF Asia Bureau Chief Dr. Chhim Sarath. “We are grateful for the support from the mayors, as this declaration in Indonesia will direct the country towards a rapid response to fight the disease."

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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