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HIV-AIDS cases surge in Merauke, urgent call for govt action

Tabloid JUBI - March 20, 2024

Merauke, Papua – The AIDS commission (KPA) noted that from January to March 2024, there were 16 cases of HIV-AIDS in Merauke Regency, South Papua. Three of them resulted in fatalities. Damario Sriyono, the Secretary of KPA in Merauke Regency, stated to Jubi on Tuesday (3/19/2024) that among the cases recorded earlier this year, the patients were from the general public.

"At the beginning of 2024, there have already been 16 cases, within the span of three months, including 14 cases of HIV, 2 of AIDS, and 3 fatalities. The numbers remain quite high," said Damario Sriyono.

"The patients are from the general public. Indeed, the general public is much more vulnerable than high-risk workers. High-risk workers (such as sex workers) are more closely monitored, and they undergo routine check-ups," he continued.

Damario Sriyono mentioned that the cumulative cases of HIV-AIDS in Merauke Regency since its discovery in 1999 until 2024 amounted to 2,827 cases. Housewives ranked first as the highest percentage of patients, at 21.4 percent.

"Every year, the number of cases remains high. On average, there are 100 patients each year. In 2023, there were 107 cases, and in 2022, there were 126 cases. The issue of HIV-AIDS in Merauke indeed needs attention from all parties, especially the government," he stated.

Damario Sriyono added that the issue of HIV-AIDS in the regency is like an iceberg phenomenon. It could become a "time bomb" if not prevented and handled seriously. Prevention is crucial to curb the spread of this deadly disease.

"In terms of budget, the support from the local government for HIV-AIDS prevention and mitigation is still very minimal. Actually, prevention is much cheaper than treatment and care. Therefore, we hope the local government can provide more serious attention," he concluded. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/hiv-aids-cases-surge-in-merauke-urgent-call-for-govt-action