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Women and Children First

Sudden Surge in Bali HIV/AIDS Cases Linked to Lack of Knowledge on How Disease is Spread

(5/12/2013) The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports an alarming increase in the number or new HIV/AIDS cases being reported in Bali, with at least 100 new cases emerging every month, a doubling over the 50 new monthly cases reported in 2012.

The head of the Bali Health Agency, Ketut Suarjaya, confirmed that through April 2013 the total number of people in Bali suffering from HIV/AIDS in Bali was put at 7,400. This was a jump of 300 from the 7,100 cases recorded in December 2013.

Suarjaya cited ignorance as the leading cause of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Bali with most ignoring the need to use condoms. He also reports that 70% of sexually transmitted disease in Bali is spread via heterosexual contact.

Number of new HIV/AIDS cases is skyrocketing among poor, rural housewives – especially among pregnant women. This, in turn, opens the possibility that more babies being born with the disease.

Health experts suspect that husbands who are sexually unfaithful are to blame for infecting the impoverished, rural women. Also to blame is the poor understanding or reluctance to adopt safer sex practice among Bali’s commercial sex workers.

There are an estimated 3,000 commercial sex workers in Bali, 20% of who are presumed to be HIV positive. It is also estimated that there are around 80,000 commercial sex transactions taking place each month in Bali.