Bandung (4/4) – The HIV/AIDS epidemic is an important issue that many countries of the world, including Indonesia, have to face. Many parties have contributed their colaborative efforts to overcome the spread of HIV which has infected 36 million people all over the world. This was stated by the Senior Vice President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Peter Reis, to officials of the West Java Provincial Government in Bandung on Tuesday (4/4).
AHF is an international organization working in the field of HIV/AIDS in 38 countries. Last year (2016) AHF began operating in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia to respond to the AIDS problem in two provinces, namely DKI Jakarta and West Java.
During his visit to West Java, Peter Reis was received by the West Java Provincial Vice Governor, H. Dedi Mizwar at the Gedung Sate, Bandung.
In front of the audience, Peter Reis explained that one of the goals of his visit to West Java is to learn more about the West Java Provincial Government’s policy and regulations, Moreover, he would also like to explore further possibilities for future collaboration with AHF, particularly in supporting advocacy and government policies.
AHF is currently supporting HIV/AIDS programs in Indonesia in the first phase which will take place until 2019. This support includes priority programs such as increasing access to HIV/AIDS services like HIV testing and treatment and providing quality services which are made accessible to the general public.
“Three districts in West Java have been appointed as the priority working areas for AHF, namely the districts of Purwakarta, Indramayu, and Pangandaran. That’s only beginning,” Peter said.
Besides working with the government and hospitals, AHF also works in partnership with local non-governmental organizations in those districts. AHF implements two priority program strategies, i.e. HIV prevention and testing programs and HIV-related treatment and care. Through these two priorities it is expected that there will no longer be any gaps in access to services, which for many people are among unaffordable. These two strategies have also been applied in other countries with AHF support.
The West Java Provincial Vice Governor, H. Deddy Mizwar happily welcomes AHF support in assisting the HIV epidemic response in West Java. He mentioned that support from international organizations like AHF will truly be beneficial in accelerating the efforts to decrease new cases, particularly in West Java.
“West Java covers a large area and is the most populous province in Indonesia. This will have impact on the high rate of potential social problems, including matters related to HIV/AIDS. That is why we need to collaborate with many concerned parties, including international organizations like AHF”, he said.
Furthermore Deddy Mizwar also stated that the West Java Provincial Government hopes that AHF can also expand their support to other districts of the province. HIV/AIDS cases have now been reported in all 27 districts and cities of West Java.
Data from the Ministry of Health indicated that the first HIV case was reported in 1987 and until December 2016, the cumulative number of HIV infections in Indonesia has reached 232.323 cases while AIDS has reached 86.780 cases. The highest number of HIV cases is found in DKI Jakarta (45.355), East Java (31.429), Papua (24.725), West Java (23.145), and Central Java (16.867), whereas the highest number of AIDS cases is found in East Java (16.911), Papua (13.398), DKI Jakarta (8.648), Bali (6.803), Central Java (6.444), and West Java (5.251).
During this visit Peter Reis is also accompanied by the AHF management, Chimm Sarath, AHF Asia Bureau Chief, Yugang Bao, AHF Asia Bureau Deputy Chief, and Riki Febrian, Country Program Manager of AHF Indonesia. On the previous day, the group also visited St Carolus Hospital and the Ministry of Health, both of AHF partners in DKI Jakarta.