"Community involvement and empowerment is an important element in HIV prevention programs, especially for people with HIV, to present effective AIDS control programs," he said.
He remarked that the community is at the forefront to build closer relations with the vulnerable group. Hence, the programs implemented by the ministry in preventing HIV/AIDS can reach all levels of society.
He expressed belief that the community's involvement in HIV/AIDS prevention would be maximized and enhanced.
Harbuwono underscored the need for the community to participate right from planning, budgeting, implementation, and monitoring to the evaluation stages of prevention programs.
Meanwhile, the ministry's Director General of Disease Prevention and Control, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said he believes that community involvement in HIV/AIDS control will accelerate Indonesia's attainment of the target of ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.
He reminded that Indonesia has only seven years remaining to achieve the goal.
"We have limited time left for the elimination of HIV/AIDS. I urge all parties to provide support and understanding, so that those who tested positive for HIV are encouraged to seek ARV treatment," he stated.
With such a limited time remaining towards 2030, Rondonuwu urged all parties to successfully combat HIV/AIDS, which is marked by the achievement of the "three zeros": zero new infections, zero deaths, and zero stigma and discrimination due to HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day, commemorated on December 1 annually, is an important moment to increase public knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS and encourage the community's active role in preventing the virus transmission.
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Translator: Sean M, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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