The average addition of syphilis every year reaches 17 thousand cases.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health dr. Muhammad Syahril said that the transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in Indonesia will increase in 2023. The majority of existing cases are dominated by housewives.
Syahril explained, based on data from the Ministry of Health, the number of housewives infected with HIV reached 35 percent. This figure is higher than cases of HIV in other groups such as husbands of sex workers and the MSM (man sex with man) group.
“This activity has contributed to around 30 percent of transmission from husband to wife. As a result, new HIV cases among housewives have increased by 5,100 cases annually,” said Syahril in his statement, Wednesday (10/5/2023).
He said the reason for the high transmission of HIV among housewives was due to knowledge of prevention and the low impact of the disease and having partners with risky sexual behavior.
Housewives infected with HIV are at high risk of transmitting the virus to their children. Transmission can occur in the womb, during the birth process, or during breastfeeding.
In general, HIV transmission through the mother-to-child route accounts for 20-45 percent of all other sources of HIV transmission, such as through unsafe sex, needles and blood transfusions.
As a result, as many as 45 percent of babies born to HIV positive mothers will be born with HIV. And throughout his life will bear the status of HIV Positive. “Currently there are 14,150 cases of HIV in children aged 1-14 years. This figure increases every year by around 700-1000 children with HIV,” said Syahril.
Regarding the detection process, the Ministry of Health noted that only 55 percent of pregnant women were tested for HIV because most did not get their husband’s permission to be tested. Of these, 7,153 were HIV positive, and 76 percent had not received ARV treatment. This will also increase the risk of transmission to the baby.
Seeing the source of the infection, dr. Syahril assesses that HIV transmission will continue to occur. Because of the 526,841 people with HIV, only about 429,215 people have been detected or know their HIV status. This means that there are still 100 thousand people with HIV who have not been detected and have the potential to transmit HIV to the community.
Apart from HIV, syphilis or lion king disease has also been reported to have increased in the last 5 years (2016-2022). From 12 thousand cases to almost 21 thousand cases with an average number of additional cases reaching 17 thousand to 20 thousand cases each year.
Syahril explained that the percentage of treatment for syphilis patients is still low. Pregnant women with syphilis who are treated are only about 40 percent of patients. The remaining, about 60 percent do not get treatment and have the potential to infect and cause defects in children who are born.
“The low level of treatment is due to stigma and shame. Every year, out of five million pregnancies, only 25% of pregnant women are screened for syphilis. Out of 1.2 million pregnant women, 5,590 pregnant women were positive for syphilis,” said dr. Syahril.