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Bali Needs a HIV/AIDS Care Center

Bali Activists Cite Need for Care and Education for Those Suffering from HIV/AIDS in Bali.

(12/1/2009) HIV/AIDS activist in Bali have called on Bali's administration to establish a special rehabilitation center for people suffering from the disease.

Quoted in The Jakarta Post, Arti Murti, a local social activist, said a complete approach to dealing with HIV/AIDS must include both the medical treatment of the illness and a public education program. Said Murti, who is the author of an authoritative book on HIV/AID: "People living with HIV/AIDS need access to a shelter or rehabilitation center that provides technical assistance and psychological support to help them survive."

The rehabilitation center is necessary to help infected people to survive by providing them with medical treatment, training and counseling, she said, considering that efforts to treat the people have yet to be comprehensive.

Ari shared with the press her dream of establishing a shelter and safe-have for those suffering from HIV/AIDS who have often been abandoned by family and friends to fend for themselves. Adding, "the people deserve a chance to spend the rest of their lives with dignity and joy."

Arimbi, another activist working with commecial sex workers and HIV/AID patients, shares Ari's vision, saying: "The rehabilitation center will allow them to have better lives, save them from rejection by their families and surrounding community."

She also said that such a facility would provide an alternative to sex workers, helping them not return to the sex trade that would further spread HIV/AIDS infections.

She warned that the current number of known cases of HIV/AIDS in Bali was only the "tip of the iceberg," with, since the number of unreported cases was likely much higher.