World / Asia-Pacific

HIV infections rise in Indonesia: report

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-22 15:42

JAKARTA - A United Nations report released recently showed that Indonesia was one of the nine nations in the world with the highest increase in the number of new cases of HIV over the last decade, local media reported on Thursday.

Indonesia's incidence of HIV infection increased by more than 25 percent in adults aged 15 to 49 from 2001 to 2011, according to the UNAIDS 2012 Global Report released on Wednesday. Other Asian nations in this category included the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

In Indonesia, 370,000 people were living with HIV last year, with certain high-risk groups particularly affected. While only 1.3 percent of the population suffers from HIV, the prevalence rate is almost 9 percent for sex workers and 36.4 percent among intravenous drug users, according to the report.

Men who have sex with men are also at greater risk of contracting HIV than the general population, at 8.47 percent. Indonesia has a population of around 240 million people.

Globally, the fight against HIV and AIDS is slowly making progress, with more than 700,000 fewer new infections of HIV across the world in 2011 than in 2001. In Asia, efforts to reduce the incidence of HIV have been less successful, with 4 million South and Southeast Asians living with HIV last year, compared to 3.7 million in 2001.

However, AIDS-related deaths have decreased in South and Southeast Asia to 250,000 in 2011, from 290,000 in 2005. Resources needed to tackle HIV in low-and middle-income countries in 2015 is estimated at $24 billion, up from the current $16.8 billion.

Globally, 34 million people were living with HIV in 2011, up from 29.4 million in 2001, according to UNAIDS. Of 49 countries with available data, HIV prevalence was 22 times higher in people who used drugs than in the general population, the Jakarta Globe reported.

Still, 25 countries have witnessed a decline of 50 percent or more in new HIV infections since 2001. Among the countries with the greatest declines are Papua New Guinea, Thailand, India and Cambodia.

Among developed countries, the cases of new infections were stable in the United States and France.

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