East Timor Hopes to Avoid AIDS Epidemic
April 9, 2002
The East Timor government and the UN launched an AIDS awareness campaign last week on television, radio and print media, hoping the country can avoid the explosion in HIV/AIDS seen elsewhere in the region. East Timor, due to gain official independence from Indonesia on May 20, has so far avoided an epidemic, but officials said social dislocation and cross-border migration, together with high unemployment, illiteracy among the rural population and low awareness about HIV, meant there was significant risk. East Timor Vice Minister for Health Joao Martins said preliminary estimates showed the rate of HIV infection at .64 percent of people of reproductive age. Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar have HIV rates of more than 1 percent, according to UNAIDS. The government and UN applauded the Catholic Church for its cooperation in establishing its own program to raise HIV/AIDS awareness.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.