23 Oct 2003

Thousands more AIDs sufferers in Papua than official figures show

4:45 pm on 23 October 2003

An estimated 10,000 people are infected with HIV/AIDS in Indonesia's Papua province according to the Jakarta Post.

The head of the AIDS Prevention Commission of Papua, Karma, says although the number of reported cases is only 1,018, that figure is deemed the "tip of the iceberg".

He said reported cases quite likely represent about 10,000 actual cases.

UNAIDS has warned of a possible increase in HIV/AIDS infections in Indonesia if nothing is done to prevent it from spreading into the mainstream population as has already occurred in Papua.

With only three and a half thousand registered cases in Indonesia, the government's estimates of infections are deemed "under-reported" and experts HIV/AIDS experts estimate the country's total number of infected people exceeds 130,000.