JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s prevalence of HIV/AIDS is relatively low at 0.2 percent countrywide but health experts are worried because the number of newly confirmed cases has shot up in recent years.
Below are key features of the disease in the world’s most populous Muslim country and how they compare with other countries in the region. For a feature, click: [nL3E7F80J8] * Prevalence and Mortality Indonesia: An estimated 300,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS and 4,539 have died of the disease so far. In Asia, just over 5.1 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2007 and 3.8 million people have died of AIDS-related causes so far. By 2020, it is estimated that up to 17 million people in Asia will be living with HIV/AIDS. * Sex industry Indonesia: In 2010, 65 percent of newly confirmed HIV infections were acquired through unsafe heterosexual sex between sex workers and clients, who went on to infect their wives or girlfriends. The government estimates there are 200,000 female sex workers in the country and a male clientele of 2-3 million or more. Only 10 to 15 percent of clients use condoms. In Asia, up to 10 million Asian women sell sex and at least 75 million men buy sex regularly. China and India have 37 million men and 30 million men who buy sex regularly. In Chennai, HIV prevalence among female sex workers fell to 2.2 percent in 2006 from 8.2 percent in 2000, an improvement that may have been linked to up to 90 percent of clients claiming they used condoms during commercial sex. In Thailand, sex workers reported 58 percent condom usage in 1991 and 44 percent in 1999 in Chiang Rai in the north. * Injecting drug users Indonesia: HIV used to be spread mainly by injecting drug users, a community where eight out of every 10 addicts now have HIV. It is believed that low condom use among drug injectors started the HIV epidemic among them, which then spread to commercial sex workers. Thirty percent of injecting drug users were HIV positive in the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2007, compared to 24 percent in 2006 in Hanoi in Vietnam and 41 percent in Wuzhou city in China in 2004. * Economic costs of AIDS Each AIDS death represents an income loss of almost US$5,000, the equivalent of nearly 14 years of income for people earning US$1 per day at current prices. At the household level, foregone income - earnings loss, healthcare expenses, premature death and funeral costs - is estimated at US$2 billion a year. Sources: Report of the Commission on AIDS in Asia, Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, World Health Organization.
Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn, editing by Miral Fahmy