HIV/AIDS in Papua or Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a disease that will attack the immune system of the patient. This disease is known to cause death and there is still no definite cure for this disease. Moreover, this disease also spreads worldwide, including in Indonesia. From 2005 until 2015, the number of people in Indonesia who got infected by this disease are 191.073. Therefore, the government wants to decrease the number and stop the spread of this disease. One of their focus priority region is Papua.
The efforts that the government carries out in Papua have began to show the results. The numbers of HIV patients have decreased from 2.4% in 2006 to 2.3% in 2013. The government also involves religious institutions such as the church to promote and conduct counseling on how to prevent HIV/AIDS to help them in combating the disease in Papua. Eventually they will also cooperate with the church to combat other diseases that spread in Papua. They will involve religious figures and Forum for Religious Harmony to give the counseling about transmitted diseases to their congregations, especially HIV/AIDS in Papua. Furthermore, the church will give counseling on how to prevent and control HIV/AIDS after the sermon.
The government is not the only one that is combating HIV/AIDS in Papua. The Executive Board of the Union of Indonesian University Students from Papua (Gemapi) has also been trying to combat and prevent this disease by creating AIDS Care event.
“Our activities are socialization and seminars about the danger and prevention of HIV/AIDS for the Papuan youths. We also give food, thousands of flowers and stickers to the passerby drivers,” said the Chairman of Gemapi Committee for AIDS Care, Ferdinand Toto, cited from AntaraPapua.
Combating HIV/AIDS in Papua is important to elevate the health and welfare of the Papuan people. Through those programs, it is hoped that it can create more awareness of the danger and more importantly the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Papua.
Those actions are one of the proves that the government care about the health and welfare of the Papuan people. HIV/AIDS is not the only disease that the government is combating right now. Currently, they are also combating others diseases such as, Elephantiasis, Leprosy, Cataract, and many more. In combating those diseases, they create health programs such as Papua Free of Elephantiasis in 2020, Leprosy Eradication, and Free Cataract Surgery.