chapter  2
24 Pages

Population movement in Indonesia: implications for the potential spread of HIV/AIDS

WithGRAEME HUGO

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The most recent estimates suggest that between 90,000 and 130,000 Indonesians were infected with HIV in 2002 – an infection rate of 0.1 per cent (Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia 2002). These rates are much lower not only than many sub-Saharan countries, but also than other Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar which have serious HIV/AIDS epidemics (Brown 2002). However, there is little room for complacency in the world’s fourth largest nation because, first, in recent years there have been substantial increases in the overall number of reported cases of both HIV and AIDS, as well as evidence of increased infection in some samples of high vulnerability groups (Hugo 2001). In 2002 it was estimated that 80,000 people would be infected by HIV in 2003 (Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia 2002: 5). Second, several commentators see Indonesia as being vulnerable to the possibility of a substantial increase in HIV transmission due to the presence of conditions which have elsewhere been associated with the spread of the disease (Kaldor 2000).