Bali has among the highest number of people living or lived with HIV in Indonesia, according to the Bali chapter of the AIDS Commission (KPA).
On Saturday, KPA Bali announced that it has updated its tally of HIV/AIDS sufferers in the province to 22,034 as of November 2019, from when the data was first recorded in 1987.
Referring to data by Bali’s Health Agency, most HIV infections on the island were caused by unsafe sexual practices. Most of the infections occurred in heterosexual relations with 16.808 total cases (76.3 percent), followed by homosexual relations with 3,247 cases (14.7 percent) and bisexual relations with 110 cases (0.5 percent).
Furthermore, the data showed that needle sharing (mostly for drug abuse) and perinatal transmissions were among minor causes of HIV infections.
“The virus can be transmitted to people of all ages, but the data shows that the age group with the highest potential of being infected by HIV/AIDS is the productive age, between 15 to 60 years old,” Suprapta said.
The commission is urging Bali citizens — especially those who are sexually active — to get routinely tested for HIV. Despite the high number of sufferers, the commission says that Bali’s medical facilities are still well equipped to treat those with HIV/AIDS.