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Summit’s initiatives on HIV win support

Success of ASEAN countries in tackling disease depends on their budgets

Nafsiah Mboy Nafsiah Mboy
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • May 11, 2011
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The secretary of the National AIDS Eradication Commission (KPA) has supported an ASEAN summit meeting's decision to enhance regional capacity to prevent widespread of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Nafsiah Mboy, a Catholic laywoman, said today that some ASEAN countries, including Cambodia and Thailand, have succeeded in cutting the number of HIV/AIDS cases because their governments had allocated sufficient budget.

“But Indonesia still has a high number of HIV/AIDS cases. NGOs can only rely on foreign aid,” she said.

The Ministry of Health’s report says that as of March there were 24,482 cases of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia.

Though the rate of HIV/AIDS cases in ASEAN countries is lower than in Africa, there is an urgent need to prevent it from increasing.

The challenge faced by some ASEAN countries is that HIV/AIDS is seen as criminal and drug-related.

Nafsiah Mboy said cooperation among ASEAN countries in dealing with HIV/AIDS cases “is important because people’s mobility is very high.”

She also recalled that ASEAN countries talked of the same determination in its eighth summit held in Phnom Penh in 2002. This determination was once again issued in its twelfth summit held in Cebu in 2007.

At the 18th summit which ended May 8 in Jakarta, ASEAN leaders also underlined the need to provide more affordable and universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support.

They also called on all stakeholders in their region to take measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to provide more attention to HIV/AIDS patients to ensure they have access to affordable health care.

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