Positive is negative: HIV/AIDS in the highlands of Papua (8 of 12)

7 more in collection Positive is negative: HIV/AIDS in Indonesian Papua , 7 more in collection Positive Is Negative , 8 more in collection Editor's Picks 1 April 2013 , 34 more in collection HIV/AIDS: Editor's Picks

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HIV testing and ARV therpy in Wamena are free. Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) in Wamena only started in 2007, at the initiative of a church sponsored clinic. This led to the public clinics and the hospital offering the service shortly afterwards. The latest statistics for the whole Jayawijaya region, from September 2012, show that 2504 (with a population of over 200,000) people have tested positive for the disease. However, the majority of cases stay undetected

Many people do not get tested due to the lack of services in their area, high travel costs or lack of roads. Local clinics (Puskesmas) outside of the city are often closed and the staff absent.

The prevalence rate among ethnic Papuans is almost twice as high as among the Indonesian newcomers . Contrary to the rest of Indonesia where the epidemic is mainly concentrated among high risk groups such as injection drug users and sex workers, in Papua transmission is almost entirely through heterosexual relations (97,1%) and has very much spread to the low-risk population.

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