Jakarta Post reports that Bali is the recipient of a Rp. 10.8 billion (US$1.4 million) grant from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
Part of a larger Rp. 438 billion assistance package for Indonesia, the funds are intended to help Indonesia fight infectuous diseases.
Initially established by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the GFATM is funded by eight countries
The funds allocated to Bali will be shared among the Bali AIDS Commission (KPA), the Bali Health Agency and the island's Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI)
A ceremony marking the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOA) held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, saw Bali's Vice-Governor Puspayoga focus on the island's fight against HIV/AIDS. Bemoaning the increasing number of new cases in Bali, Puspayoga declared there must be something wrong with current efforts to curb the disease.
Through the end of March 2009, the number of known HIV/AIDS case in Bali reached 2,666. Most cases are reported among young people between age 20 and 29 years.
In a separate report underlining the threat posed to Bali's youth by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Bali Post reports that the youngest fatality reported this year on the island was an 16-year-old boy with a history of sexual activity with prostitutes starting from when he was only 11-years-old. According to a an HIV/AIDS counselor at Bali's Sanglah General Hospital, an increasing number of victims are appearing among teenagers who seek sexual gratification with commercial sex workers.
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