UNAIDS Executive Director, Michele Sidibe, visit to Indonesia put spotlight on the ‘expanding domestic HIV epidemic’ with plenty of opportunity to bring societal change
During his two day visit, Mr. Sidibe emphasized the increasingly important and relevant role of UN to help Indonesia stop and reverse its expanding HIV epidemic. He was very optimistic this can be achieved considering bigger countries, with higher number of people infected, like India and China have already made major strides in their national response. Where many countries have reversed the infection trends, in Asia, Indonesia, along with the Philippines and Pakistan are actually rapidly expanding. Alarmingly, the total number of infected persons in Indonesia is three times higher than that of the total in the Philippines and Pakistan, combined.
He emphasized that one major step towards the reversal of the epidemic is the importance of sexual education for young people (referred locally as Kesehatan Reproduktif or Reproductive Health). He acknowledged the fact that many young people in this age group are sexually active and hence vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. This is where UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF are putting special priority in their respective mandates within the UN. His comments in this regard were covered in the Jakarta Post article on 25, October 2012, UN official says sexual education important (Link:
In addition, Mr. Sidibe noted that ending AIDS is as much a social challenge as a clinical one. Evidence in the past three decades has proven that illiteracy and poverty fuel the spread of HIV and that education can slow it. He spoke highly of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Education First initiative, for which UNESCO’s Director-General is the Executive Secretary. The initiative aims to expand and improve schooling around the world and open new pathways to peace, economic development and environmental sustainability.
He added that the Getting to Zeros Global Campaign (Zero New Infections, Zero AIDS Deaths, and Zero Discrimination) provided opportunity to bring social change with regards to basic human rights, inclusiveness and equity for the poor and marginalized populations.
His visit was also a feature story of UNAIDS
During his visit he also met with the Head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Mr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto in Jakarta on 24 October 2012, in addition to Dr. Nafsiah Mboi of Ministry of Health, Mr. Kemal Siregar of National AIDS Commission, UN Co-Sponsors of UNAIDS, Civil Society and a special visit to model community health center and model prison implementing Harm Reduction.
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