Bali now has the unenviable distinction of having the second highest rate of HIV/AID infections in Indonesia. Based on the number of AIDS cases among every 100,000 residents, Papua is the worst affected (129.35), Bali second (33.75) and Jakarta third (30.52).
According to DenPost, if viewed merely from the total number of reported cases, Bali gets ranked fifth nation-wide after, in descending order, West Java, Jakarta, East Java and Papua.
These figures were revealed at a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) held in Bali on May 27, 2009, between the government of Bali and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
Data presented by the Commission to Fight HIV/AIDS in Bali recorded 2,666 cases of the disease in Bali through the end of February 2009. The majority of cases (62.98%) were recorded among heterosexuals having unprotected sex with infected partners, the main source of infections in Bali.
According to BisnisBali, of the 2,666 cases recorded in Bali 1,264 are recorded as AIDS sufferers, of which 247 have died. Meanwhile, HIV cases total 1,402 of which 2 people have died.
The Chairman of the national anti-HIV/AIDS commission, Nafsiah Mboi, said efforts to prevent the disease in Bali are quite good. At the same time, she admitted it is difficult to change behavior patterns among commercial sex workers or their clients who persist in having unprotected sexual intercourse, despite extensive efforts to educated the public to the risks involved.
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