JAKARTA: Indonesia launched in Jakarta on Tuesday an inaugural book covering operating procedures for methadone therapy programs in penitentiaries.
National Guidelines for Methadone Therapy, was co-produced by the Justice and Human Rights Ministry and the country's HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project (IHPCP).
Harm-reduction adviser with IHPCP, Dr. James Blogg said his global review of methadone therapy in Germany, Australia, Iran and other countries, indicated methadone therapy was successful in reducing the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases in prisons.
"Indonesia just took one big step in reducing HIV continuity," Dr. Blogg said.
"Now we can hope that prisons in Indonesia will actually become correctional facilities."
Specialist medical treatment representative from the ministry for health Iyut Savitri said the main purpose of methadone therapy was to improve the quality life for drug users, especially users and addicts willing to overcome their addiction.
The Secretary of the National AIDS Commission, Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, said methadone therapy was one of 12 harm-reduction programs aimed to help prevent HIV infection in addicts and users.
The prevalence of HIV among prisoners in Indonesia is high because of needle sharing and unsafe sex.
"In jail, prisoners can receive this therapy for free," Nafsiah said. -- JP