23 Jul 2007

Indonesia earmarks new money to combat AIDS

9:47 am on 23 July 2007

The Indonesian government is to increase the amount of money it spends on fighting AIDS by 75 percent over the next three years, with the major focus on Papua province.

The country's Welfare Minister, Aburizal Bakrie, says the government plans to increase the amount of money budgeted for the AIDS fight from 67 million US dollars last year to 263 million by 2010

Indonesia has one of Asia's fastest growing HIV rates, with up to 290,000 cases of the disease recorded.

Health authorities have warned that a failure to take prompt action in areas like Papua - where infections are 15 times the national average - could result in 1 million people contracting the disease over the next few years.