Indonesia probes Bali tattoo HIV infection report

Indonesia probes Bali tattoo HIV infection report

JAKARTA - Indonesia is investigating the case of an Australian who is believed to have been infected with HIV while getting a tattoo on the resort island of Bali, an official said Monday.

"We received a report about this case from the health ministry yesterday and officials will be visiting tattoo parlours today to verify this claim," Bali health department chief Nyoman Sutedja told AFP.

"At this point, we are still investigating. We can't say for sure if the patient caught the virus from getting a tattoo or sexual contact," he added. There are currently 4,200 HIV/AIDS cases on Bali, Sutedja said.

Australian health authorities on Friday said a patient diagnosed with HIV probably contracted the virus while being tattooed on the island. They did not reveal any details of the individual concerned.

More than a million tourists visit Bali every year to enjoy its white, surf beaches, nightlife and Hindu culture.

Indonesian officials said last year that the number of known HIV/AIDS cases on Bali was soaring, with one in four prostitutes reported to be HIV-positive and the number of infections jumping almost 19 per cent from the year before.

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