A quick survey conducted by the Gaya Dewata Foundation among 400 gay and transvestite individuals in 3 separate regencies of Bali reveals that 85% of those interviewed are aware of the need to undergo voluntary HIV/AIDS screening.
The three regencies surveyed during May-June 2013 were Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar where 85% of the respondents admitted to knowing of the need to undergo HIV/AIDS testing.
Founded in 1992, the Gaya Dewata Foundation is a non-governmental organization focused on reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease among gays, transvestites and men-who-have-sex-with-men.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the director of the Gaya Dewata, Christian Supriyadinata told the press on June 15, 2013 that increased awareness of the need for HV/AIDS testing is due to the prevalence of clinics and hospitals in Bali offering voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). VCT is now offered at all major hospitals, several community health centers (puskesmas) and a special VCT clinic.
Supriyadinata added that the use of condoms among gay, transvestites and men-who-have-sex-with-men is also on the increase. In past years, the awareness of the need to use condoms stood at only 20%, a number that has now increased to 68%.
The chairman of Gaya Dewata estimates that the total number of gay, transvestites and men-who-have-sex-with-men in Bali is 25,000.
[Gaya Dewata Foundation Website]
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