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'Infectionately' Yours

More than 7,000 HIV/AIDS Sufferers Living in Bali.

(5/22/2010) The Jakarta Post reports that the National Commission on HIV/AIDS (KPAN) and the Indonesian Ministry of Health count 7.317 confirmed HIV/AIDS sufferers living in Bali.

Most of those afflicted with the disease are classified as sex workers with 41.2% (3,017) of the total thought to have contracted HIV/AIDS from intimate contact with sex workers. The customers of Bali's sex trade are estimated to have, in turn, infected 668 partners and children.

HIV/AIDS activist Putu Utami said: "The number of partners infected with HIV is increasing drastically. This should be seriously anticipated."

Those infected through sharing dirty needles in the consumption of intravenous narcotics are put at 1,371 people.

The latest survey noted increasing rates of infection among intravenous drug users, sex workers, customers of sex workers and their partners, transvestites and prisoners.

A local HIV/AIDS researcher in Bali, Dewa Nyoman Wirawan, estimates that 22% of all sex workers in Bali are contagious.

The latest tally of HIV/AIDS is almost twice the number of sufferers reported in January 2007, the last time a survey count was conducted.

Bali's efforts to prevent the further spread of HIV/AIDS is now focused on preventing infection through sexual transmission and medical steps to prevent infected mothers from passing the disease on to their new born infants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a 5% chance of mother-to-child transmission of the disease during pregnancy, a 15% chance of infection during the delivery process and a 10% chance of infection when infected mothers breast-feed their children.