HIV prevention needs to be reviewed

PHOTO: HIV prevention needs to be reviewed

The National AIDS Commission (KPA) secretary, Kemal N.Siregar, said the HIV epidemic prevention programme in Indonesia should focus on high-risk groups where the infection was most prevalent.

Despite a well-run HIV and AIDS prevention programme in Asian countries, including Indonesia, the rapid spread of the HIV epidemic in high-risk populations has remained persistent during the last 20 to 30 years, he said.

Both globally and regionally, however, many AIDS prevention policies and programs seem to be more compatible with the HIV epidemic in general populations, such as in Africa.

"To respond to the challenge, we see there's a need to review and restructure the existing HIV control programs," said Kemal in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post.

It was a fact that the spread of the HIV epidemic in Asia tended to be concentrated within certain key groups, including female sex workers, men who visited sex workers, homosexuals, transvestites and transgender people, he added.

Kemal was speaking at a satellite session entitled "HIV in Asia - Transforming the Agenda for 2012 and Beyond", held on the sidelines of the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, which wraps up on Thursday.