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Half Million Indonesians are Living with HIV/ AIDS
“We can inform that there are 543,100 PLWHA in Indonesia in 2020,” the director of direct communicable disease control and prevention at the Ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi revealed on Wednesday, December 1, during a World AIDS Day event, as reported by Antara.
The epidemiologist said this makes HIV an epidemic in Indonesia even though there has been decreasing in total cases. Data from the Ministry showed that there are only two regions in Indonesia that experience an expansion of the HIV epidemic: Papua and West Papua provinces and the expansion is still considered low at only 1.8 percent.
For national infection cases, 27,580 people were estimated to have been infected with HIV in 2020, and the figure is 47 percent lower compared to 2010 with estimated 48,000 cases per year.
The Ministry also revealed that based on 2020 data, 149,883 patients in 502 districts have received medication and accessed the antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. Meanwhile, 30,100 people living with HIV (PLWH) were estimated to have died from the virus, of which 10,103 were reported.
During the occasion, Tarmizi also emphasized the importance of tracing new infections in order to suppress even higher HIV cases in Indonesia.
The Ministry has initiated a program that seeks to educate the public about the disease, help the public in finding out their HIV status, and provide patients with ARV therapy. These efforts, Tarmizi said, are expected to bring the expected result to reduce the number of HIV cases nationally.