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'Sanur Commitment' Signed to Fight HIV/AIDS

Island's Government Unites to Battle HIV/AIDS Epidemic.

(5/8/2004) On Friday, May 7, 2004, Bali's Governor Dewa Beratha, the Speaker of the Provincial Parliament, and local government chiefs from across the island gathered in Sanur to sign a document declaring their combined efforts to turn back the tide of the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The signing ceremony, witnessed by Indonesia's Minister of the Interior Hari Sabarno, Minister of Social Affairs Bachtiar Chamsyah and local representatives of the Ministry of Health, created a document now dubbed the "Sanur Commitment" outlining the steps to be taken in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Bali.

The officials agreed to intensify programs encouraging the use of condoms to 80% by members of the population involved in high-risk sexual practices. Current estimates for condom use in those groups stand at less than 10%. Also included in the commitment are aggressive programs of public education on HIV/AIDS and steps to remove the stigma and discrimination currently suffered by known HIV/AIDS sufferers.

AIDS Prevention Now Mandatory Part of All Company Policies

On April 29, 2004, Indonesia's Minister of Manpower and Transmigration issued a decree requiring all Indonesian companies to make HIV/AIDS prevention a part of their occupations health and safety programs.

Studies carried out by Family Health International have put the cost of a single HIV/AIDS case in a company at between Rp. 30-70 million (approximately US$3,530 ľUS$8.235). Under the new Ministerial decree discrimination in the workplace against workers suffering with HIV/AIDS is now illegal.

Current estimates are that 3,000 residents of Bali are infected with HIV/AIDS.