From a total of 125 HIV/AIDS sufferers in Bali qualified to receive Anti-retroviral Therapy (ARV), a mere ten are able to take advantage of the relatively low-cost medication able to allow patients to sustain relatively normal and prolonged life.
Through the cooperation of various international agencies ARV Therapy can be given to HIV/AIDS afflicted patients in Indonesia for only Rp. 750,000 (approximately US$ 88) per month. The same course of treatment in the United States can cost upwards of US$ 10,000 a year.
Speaking to the Press in Bali on January 7, 2004, Australian HIV/AIDS activist Brendon Carpenter and his Indonesian counterpart, Rosy, explained the workings of the Bali ARV Fund (BAF) and the Kerti Praja Foundation in their efforts to assist HIV/AIDS patients through ARV Therapy and educational measure to stop the spread of the virus.
Confidential counseling and testing is provided without charge to the public with follow up services to those confirmed infected with the disease. In order to qualify for ARV Therapy participants must pledge to follow the treatment protocols and refrain from unsafe sex and drug usage practices.
Of the known sufferers from HIV/AIDS in Bali, 30-50% are intravenous drug users while the remaining affected are scattered across commercial sex workers and housewives.
ARV therapy has proven highly successful in boltering HIV/AIDS' sufferers immune systems allowing them to live normal and productive lives, effectively delaying indefinitely the onset of full-blown AIDS. Unfortunately, funds are still insufficient to provide ARV therapy to all those qualified for treatment in Bali, rendering a very negative prognosis when a relatively inexpensive treatment is available that offers a chance at a productive life.
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