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Official: 'HIV/AIDS spreading in Indonesia at worrying rate' JAKARTA - The rate at which HIV/AIDS is spreading in Indonesia is becoming increasingly worrying and needs to be reversed through concerted efforts by the government and society, a national AIDS eradication official said.

Citing Health Ministry data, Dr Fonny Silfanus, vice secretary of the National AIDS Eradication Commission (KPAN), said by June 2011, the cumulative number of AIDS sufferers in the country had reached 26,483 and that of new HIV cases 66,693.

"The rate at which the disease is spreading is a matter of increasing concern. The trend must be reversed through the concerted efforts of NGOs, the government and the clergy," she said at the launching of a "Channel of Hope Module" to fight the deadly disease by World Vision International (WVI) here Wednesday.

WVI`s regional manager for Java and Nias, Charles Sinaga, said on the occasion the module was launched as part of WVI`s efforts to encourage the handling of the HIV/AIDS problem by the country`s clergy.

"The module aims to help the conveyance of the right information on HIV/AIDS to Muslim religious leaders to lessen the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS," he said.

It was hoped the creation of a partnership between WVI and Muslim religious leaders in combating the disease would be an example to other countries of interfaith collaboration to tackle the problem, he said.

A representative of the Muslim community, Syahrizal Syarif, an executive of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), said he appreciated the WVI`s initiative to forge a partnership to combat HIV/AIDS.

"NU appreciates the launching of the module because NU has since the beginning been very interested in and concerned about social issues. Let us,indeed, cooperate in the best interest of the community," he said.

In the Channel of Hope module WVI would cooperate with INTERNA (Indonesian Interfaith Network on AIDS) in training Muslim facilitators. The training would be given in classes led by six trainers for 30 participants for 8 days.

WVI is a Christian humanitarian organization striving to change the lives of children, families and community members living in poverty. After operating in Indonesia for more than 50 years, over 95 thousand Indonesian children were now being supported by WVI programs.


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Posted in Health @ 02 March 2012 09:37 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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