Reuters Examines Growing HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Indonesia
Reuters examines the growing number of HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia, where "widespread ignorance" about the disease and a government afraid of campaigning "effectively against it for fear of being accused by conservatives of promoting promiscuity" have helped fuel the epidemic. Currently, 300,000 Indonesians are HIV-positive, and though the nation's HIV prevalence is low at 0.2 percent, "the government and health experts are worried because the number of newly confirmed cases has more than doubled to 4,158 in the five years to 2010." While other countries in the region are implementing high-profile prevention campaigns promoting condom use and needle-exchange programs, "such high-profile interventions cannot be adopted in conservative Indonesia," which is majority Muslim, Reuters reports (Lyn/Wulandari, 4/12). A factbox containing statistics on Indonesia's HIV/AIDS epidemic is also available from Reuters (Lyn, 4/12).