12 Dec 2005

Police in Papua admit to AIDS deaths within their ranks

7:22 pm on 12 December 2005

Police in Indonesia's Papua province have admitted four policemen have reportedly died of AIDS in Papua over the past five years and at least eight others are now living with HIV.

The Jakarta Post reports that the admission comes just a few days after the military admitted a dozen deaths due to AIDS-related causes in recent years.

Papua Police spokesperson Commander Kartono says while four deaths have been confirmed, he's certain there are many more police living with HIV/AIDS in Papua yet to be discovered.

He says the Papua Police department was launching an intensified region-wide education campaign on HIV/AIDS.

Commander Kartono stresses that officers stationed in the province "are expected to refrain from activities that could put them at risk, such as unprotected sex with multiple partners."

Goverment estimates put Papua's rate of HIV/AIDS infection at around 19 times the national average.

Meanwhile, TNI chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto stated that the military doesn't consider AIDS a threat against their forces, but says they're taking it quite seriously.