Indonesia: One in Four Bali Prostitutes HIV-Positive
December 6, 2010
One in four prostitutes on the resort island of Bali are HIV-positive, according to a new report from Indonesia's National AIDS Commission. "Many people are reluctant to go for medical check-ups, as there's still stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS," said Nyoman Mangku Karmaya, NAC spokesperson. The report says Bali logged a 19 percent increase in HIV cases this year, with the total now at 3,778. "The figure is only the tip of the iceberg ... we estimate the actual number of cases to hover around 7,000, as many cases were unreported," he said. Twenty-five percent of Bali's estimated 8,800 sex workers are believed to be HIV-infected, up from 23 percent last year. More than 1 million tourists visit Bali each year, and Karmaya acknowledged, "There might be some who get acquainted with sex workers, but they're aware about using condoms. We will increase our efforts to provide more information and educate the sex workers as well as the public," he said. "We'll also intensify campaigns promoting condom use."
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