25% of Bali’s commercial sex workers is HIV+
Author: Sam Van Praet
Tuesday 28th of February 2012 12:29:38 PM

In Bali the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases through the end of January 2012 has risen to 5,902 cases (three years ago, 4000 HIV/AIDS cases were expected for the end of 2009) and the majority of HIV infections are caused trough heterosexual contact. One of the main reasons of these fast rising infection rates is the high number of HIV positive commercial sex workers. Sexual contact with commercial sex workers causes infection to the men using the sex workers' services and it causes secondary infections to their unsuspecting wives and the babies they carry. The parents often die and their children are then sent to live with their grand parents, to an orphanage or (if they are lucky) to Bali Kids or a similar organization.  


Among the 9,000 commercial sex workers in Bali, 22-25% are thought to be HIV positive. Many prostitutes refuse to be tested for HIV/AIDS out of fear of being arrested by police authorities, as their job is illegal. One method has proven effective in reducing the rate of new HIV/AIDS infections and that is the use of condoms. The problem is that only in 30% of commercial sex contacts people are using them, while 80-90% is thought to be necessary to effectively reducing the rate of new infections. 


The KPA (The Commission of AIDS Prevention of Bali) works with local community organizations to promote the use of condoms and encourage commercial sex workers infected with HIV/AIDS to undergo treatment and counseling. They are also trying to get students to join the battle to prevent HIV/AIDS infections in the community. In the future KPA will also be forming village-based action groups to educate their neighbors. With more awareness in the local areas the rate of new infections can be reduced and Designers against AIDS wants nothing more than help with spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent getting infected!


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