Antara News, Monday, November 30, 2009 14:51 WIB
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Under the international theme of "Universal Access and Human Rights," the U.S. Government is once again standing in partnership with the Indonesian Government in supporting World AIDS Day, which is observed on December 1, the US embassy said here Monday.
Indonesia`s theme this year is "Working together community/civil society and government can accelerate access for information, prevention, care and support for all", according to the US embassy in a press release.
World AIDS day provides us with the opportunity to recognize the significant strides we have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the last 25 years, and recommit ourselves to joint efforts to overcome the obstacles and challenges that remain, the embassy said.
This year, the governor of Jakarta, with the Minister of Health, the Minister for People`s Welfare and the Secretary of the National AIDS Commission in attendance will launch a program to provide universal access to HIV/AIDS services to most-at-risk populations: injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, clients of sex workers and men who have sex with men.
Other events include the public announcement of the National AIDS Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2014, teleconferences between the President of Indonesia and district governors on making political commitments to HIV/AIDS, and a press conference with HIV/AIDS experts, it said.
The United States supports Indonesia`s National AIDS Program with an annual $8 million HIV/AIDS program, the embassy added.
The U.S. program focuses on prevention efforts and technical assistance and capacity building with NGOs and district governments to expand services for most-at-risk populations in eight provinces where local epidemics are escalating, including; Papua, West Papua, North Sumatra, East Java, Jakarta, Riau Islands, West Java and Central Java.
According to 2008 estimates by UNAIDS, the HIV epidemic in Indonesia is among the fastest growing in Asia. The epidemic is concentrated primarily among injection drug users (IDUs) and their sexual partners, people engaged in commercial sex and their clients, and men who have sex with men. Across Indonesia, there are an estimated 270,000 people living with HIV/AIDS this year, it disclosed.