Mon, 27 Aug 2001

616 HIV/AIDS cases recorded in Irian Jaya

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (JP): As many as 616 cases of HIV/AIDS have been recorded in Irian Jaya, spreading in 12 regencies and two municipalities, a local health official said here on Sunday.

The head of HIV/AIDS study at the Irian Jaya health office, Gunawan Ingkokusumo, said that the 616 cases constituted data collected by his office as of July 31, 2001.

According to him, Merauke was recorded with the highest number (amounting to 327 cases), followed by Mimika/Timika (80 cases), Sorong (53 cases) and Jayawijaya (47 cases).

The other regencies with major cases were Fakfak/Kaimana with 31 cases and Nabire with 31 cases, Gunawan said.

Out of the 616 cases, 325 are men and 281 women with the remaining 10 cases being unidentified, he said.

Gunawan explained that HIV contaminates people, mostly through sexual relations without the use of protection like condoms.

"The virus is very dangerous for the people, therefore the government and related agencies are expected to take proper measures to prevent the virus from further spreading," Gunawan was quoted by Antara as saying.

Official data at the directorate general of communicable at the Ministry of Health showed that there were a total of 1,572 patients infected with the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and 578 cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the country as of last month.

Overall, the highest number of AIDS cases reported last month was in Jakarta with 299 cases, followed by Irian Jaya with 210 cases, West Java with 37 cases, while Bali, East Java and Riau with 26, 22 and 14 cases respectively. (02)