Bali ranks fifth nationwide in terms of the number of confirmed HIV/AIDS cases after Papua, East Java, Jakarta and West Java.
However in terms of the rates of new infections, Bali has the dubious distinction of ranking second only to Papua.
The coordination of the working group for Bali on the prevention and control of AIDS (KPA)m Dr. I Nyoman Mangku Karmaya, said on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, that more attention to the problem is needed from all parties to address this problem.
He disclosed that there is an increase in Bali and in Indonesia as a whole in the rate of infection through heterosexual contact. Also of great concern are the rapidly rising rates of infection among housewives and children.
Dr. Mangku Karmaya, quoted by The Bali Post, says that in order to avoid HIV/AIDS people should avoid sex with multiple partners, not use the services of commercial sex workers and the need to remain mutually faithful with one's sexual partner.
To address those who are unable to follow these guidelines, the government is intensifying its campaign to encourage 100% use of condoms among those at high risk of infection.
Karmaya said the top target groups for condom use are commercial sex workers and their customers, and sexual partners in which one or both people are infected with HIV/AIDS. Condoms, which prevent the exchange of sperm and other bodily fluids, are the only defense against infection with HIV/AIDS for sexually active people. As a bonus, condoms also effectively prevent the spread of other diseases contracted through sexual contact and unwanted pregnancies.
Dr. Karmaya said efforts to increase the use of condoms in Bali are meeting with some success among sex workers and their customers. The acceptance of condom use, however, still falls short of the 100% target.
Among the reasons given by people reluctant to use condoms is the mistaken belief that condoms are not effective in preventing disease, that they are easily torn, that they diminish sensation or the view that their use promotes licentiousness.
For these reasons, according to Karmaya, the 100% condom use campaign need political support, and cooperation with the police, policy makers, and health services workers. “Collaboration with owners of night spots and sex workers to urge customers to use condoms is also very important,” commented Karmaya.
Political support requiring workers at nightspots and their customers to use condoms when having sex, and the need to routinely check the health of these businesses' employees is also essential.
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