Sat, 11 Nov 2000

Ministry holds free HIV/STD tests

YOGYAKARTA: In commemoration of Sunday's National Health Day, the Ministry of Health will conduct free Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) examinations for pregnant women.

An official, Bambang Purnomo, said on Friday that his office would also administer free medical treatment to pregnant women and also prostitutes in the Pasar Kembang and Gedong Tengen areas.

"Treatment will be given in the Gedong Tengen health center as there are some 400 prostitutes here who are suspected to be infected with HIV and STDs," he said. The examinations will be held on Thursday.

Based on recent office research, some 12 percent of local prostitutes are infected with STDs, he said.

"We don't want the commemoration of National Health Day to be like in previous years where it is just an anniversary celebration for the ministry and doesn't involve society," Bambang told Antara. (hdn)