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HIV/AIDS victims feared to continue to increase in Mimika

30th November 2012 | 2.219 Views
HIV/AIDS victims feared to continue to increase in Mimika
(FOTO Antara-news/ferly)
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - The number of HIV/AIDS victims in Mimika, Papua is feared to continue to increase in the coming years, the Yayasan Peduli AIDS Timika (YPAT) said.

Father Bert Hagendoorn OFM, the director of the foundation, which helps treat HIV/AIDS victims in the area, said the number of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus infection) /AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) cases in Mimika has increased at a high rate .

The number of victims is expected to increase with the high mobility of people in Mimika and growing number of new residents in Timika, Father Hagendoorn said .

"The number of visitors to Timika and or new residents in the city grew fast and they are not aware of the existence of the disease in Timika," he told ANTARA news agency here on Friday.

According to data from the AIDS Control Commission (KPA) of Mimika, in 2012 alone there were 367 new HIV/AIDS cases in the regency of Mimika.

The number of HIV/AIDS cases since the first time the disease was found in the regency in 1996, has continued to increase reaching 3,190 kasus by September this year.

In the April-September period in 2012 , there were an additional cases of 239 or an average of 39 cases per month.

Sexual intercourse accounted for 236 of the new case in Mimika.

Father Hagendoorn called for more intensive campaigns to stop the spread of the disease.

He said there are already many organizations and agencies involved in the battle against HIV/AIDS in Mimika, but most of the organizations and agencies fail to support each other.

He said since the first time the disease was found in Mimika a number of organization active in battling HIV/AIDS were eager to establish a KPA to serve as a coordinating body for the organizations.

Later, however, the Mimika KPA has become more interested in projects rather than in coordinating efforts to eradicate the disease and save the people , he said.

"We are very disappointed with the fact," he said.

Father Hagendoorn also criticized attempt to politicize HIV/AIDS issue in Mimika and to take business advantage of the condition such as by organizing football matches to raise fund supposedly for HIV/AIDS control.

He said YPAT has organized Youth Event Against AIDS Dance for Life held last week to commemorate the World`s AIDS Day on Dec. 1 involving youths including school students in Timika. (*)