Indonesia: City focus key to the HIV response

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Update

Indonesia: City focus key to the HIV response

17 April 2014

During an official visit of the UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Jan Beagle to Indonesia, national and provincial municipal leaders, development agencies and civil society organizations underlined the importance of scaling up and investing in city-based HIV strategies as a critical action towards accelerating progress in the AIDS response.

Speaking with the National AIDS Commission Director Dr Kamal Siregar, Ms Beagle stressed the importance of focusing on city-based HIV responses at a time when the majority of people living with HIV and from key populations at risk reside and/or work in municipal centres. Dr Siregar noted how scaling up programmes and efforts at the city level will enable greater reach to people in need of HIV services, especially among key populations at higher risk.

Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia is one of the provinces with highest numbers of new HIV infections in Indonesia. The estimated number of people living with HIV in the city as of 2013 is approaching 100 000. According to national surveillance data, estimated HIV prevalence among key populations at higher risk in the city is higher than national averages with 56.4% prevalence found among people who use drugs, 17.2% among men who have sex with men and 10.5% among female sex workers.

Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Health echoed the need to make cities central to HIV responses noting that city populations often contain large numbers of young people and that youth focus and engagement for HIV is also critical.

Enhanced city-based focus was also welcomed by the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is spearheading the ASEAN ‘Cities getting to Zero’ initiative. Meeting with Ms Beagle, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh stressed how the ‘Cities getting to Zero initiative’ is focusing on 13 ASEAN cities and municipal areas—which account for large proportions of HIV burden in their countries (including three in Indonesia)—to catalyze country actions towards the achievement of the 2012 ASEAN Declaration on Getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, Zero AIDS-related Deaths.

UNAIDS is working to increase the focus on city-based HIV responses. Cities and their importance within the HIV response will also be discussed at the International AIDS Conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia from 20-25 July.

Quotes

"We need to expand comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment in cities to reach the maximum amount of people. We also need to replicate quality and proven city programmes – to from one city to another to help faster and better scale up."

Kamal Siregar, Director of the National AIDS Commission of Indonesia

"In our ASEAN ‘Cities getting to Zero’ initiative, the enrolled cities have been very active and enthusiastic. Learning about similarities and differences between the cities on HIV issues is very important. We are documenting the experiences and this will be released later this year."

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh

"From a programme coverage perspective and from an effective investment perspective, increased focus on cities and metropolitan areas can make an important impact. Cities in Indonesia have significant experiences to share that highlight both successes and challenges."

UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Jan Beagle