Ubud’s Night Scene Gets Blame for HIV/AIDS Rise
Health authorities in Gianyar say they are seriously concerned at the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS cases in the regency, pointing to new figures that show 129 cases were recorded in 2009, with 18 deaths over the past four years.
They say the widespread availability of casual sex through nightclubs and other entertainment venues, particularly in Ubud, is a major cause of increased risk.
Figures for 2001-2005, the previous statistical period, show there were 16 cases and two deaths.
Gianyar health chief Dewa Made Sutanaya said this week the figures did not mean health authorities had lost control of HIV/AIDS countermeasures. Gathering precise statistics made it possible for preventive health measures to be taken and properly targeted at at-risk populations.
“It is important to know exactly how much of the total population has been affected by the HIV/AIDS virus,” he said. “Even with limited funds, in 2008 we made a big effort in the prevention and mitigation of HIV/AIDS transmission and infection and this was well coordinated with related agencies and the police.”
Sutanaya said the aim was a gradual decline in new HIV/AIDS cases and better management of existing patients.Filed under: Headlines