Wed, 05 Jan 2000

HIV/AIDS cases reach 200 in 1999

JAKARTA (JP): According to official data there were 178 recorded cases of people infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 1999, with an additional 47 new cases of full blown AIDS.

The Ministry of Health's director general for contagious diseases, Umar Fahmi Achmadi, in a statement on Tuesday said that the total of number of cases of those infected with HIV since it was first recorded in Indonesia in 1987 had reached 769.

Meanwhile, those suffering from AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) during the same period was 274.

According to Ministry of Health data, 163 AIDS patients have died of the dreaded condition.

Jakarta continues to have the highest number of people who have contracted AIDS. Out of 104 carriers, at least 48 have died.

While official records indicate the number of those who have contracted HIV/AIDS in Indonesia is low compared to the population as a whole, activists claim that it is only the tip of the iceberg.

AIDS activists note that there is still a strong social stigma against the condition, therefore those who contract it often remove themselves from everyday society.

The number of reported cases also reveals a rising trend in comparison to the previous two years, showing the highest recorded cases of HIV/AIDS cases in 1998 reaching the 200 mark.

Ministry of Health statistics show that only 23 provinces have recorded HIV/AIDS cases. (mds)