12,553 Children Aged 14 and Under are Infected with HIV: Health Ministry
30 November 2022 09:17 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - As many as 12,553 children aged 14 years and under contracted HIV in Indonesia in the period from 2010 to September 2022, according to the Ministry of Health.
"HIV in children whose HIV status is known in Indonesia is 12,553 children aged 14 and under. This is the data from 2010 to September 2022," stated director for the prevention and control of infectious diseases at the Health Ministry, Imran Pambudi, at the 2022 World AIDS Day media gathering, which was attended online on Tuesday.
According to him, of the total infected children, at least 4,764 have been undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART) as of September 2022.
Based on the number, HIV infections have been dominantly detected among children aged less than 4.
He further said that of the 12,553 children, only around 7,800 have undergone treatment. "The gap is quite big," he noted.
Male children dominate cases compared to female children, Pambudi said.
In the period from 2010 to 2020, HIV/AIDS handling in Indonesia has improved, as indicated by the decline in new infections due to the acceleration of handling and large-scale expansion of ART.
Nevertheless, the decline in infections has not met the target set by the government. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the government's program to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030.
The other challenge that the government is facing is that, based on observations from 2018 to 2022, the majority of HIV cases have been detected in peopled aged 25 to 49 or those who are in the productive age group and are sexually active.
He emphasized that education and improving the knowledge of parents are key to preventing HIV infections among children because children commonly get infected from their parents.
To this end, he asked all parents to start improving education regarding reproductive health and avoid behaviors that could negatively impact the nation's children.
In addition, he highlighted the need for strengthening coordination with stakeholders, especially midwives and Maternal and Child Health (KIA) partners, so that the community can be made aware of the dangers of HIV/AIDS in children.
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