Concern Over Rising HIV Infection Rate Among Pregnant Women in Situbondo

Rising government and public hostility towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Indonesia is threatening the battle against AIDS in the world's largest Muslim-majority country, activists and an official said. (Reuters Photo/Navesh Chitrakar)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 3:39 PM April 15, 2017
Category : News, Health

Jakarta/Situbondo. At least 30 pregnant women have been diagnosed with HIV infections in Situbondo, East Java, since late last year, the local health agency revealed.

"From November 2016 until April 2017, 30 pregnant women have tested positive. They are now under observation by the health agency," Situbondo Health Agency head Abu Bakar Abdi said on Thursday (13/04).

The latest data was collected through an online application the agency launched to map mortality rates among pregnant women.

"From that data, we know the number, because midwives often accompany pregnant women to undergo blood tests at local government health care facilities," Abu Bakar said.

He added that efforts to prevent the virus from being transmitted to babies are direly needed, while mothers receive antiretroviral treatment.

"They can be treated if they cooperate with us," Abu Bakar said.

At least 741 people have been diagnosed with HIV infections in the district since 2010, with around 20 percent eventually having died after developing AIDS.

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