Indonesia's Construction Surge Contributing To Spread Of HIV

Armen Hareyan's picture

A surge in Indonesia's construction industry is contributing to anincrease in HIV/AIDS cases in the country, the AsianDevelopment Bank said on Tuesday, AFP/Yahoo!News reports. According to ADB, which also approved anHIV/AIDS grant to Indonesia on Monday, migrant workers are morelikely to engage in high-risk sex that can result in HIVtransmission. Indonesia's construction industry grew by 9% in 2007and accounts for 5% of the country's labor force and 8.4% of itsgross domestic product. "As Indonesia addresses its backlog ofinvestment needs and meets new growth-generated demand, the sectorwill remain strong," ADB said, adding that "mobileconstruction workers away from home are more likely to engage inhigh-risk behavior than the general population." According tothe bank, "men, mobility and money" are the "keyingredients for the spread of HIV" in the country, as well as inother parts of the world.


The $200,000 ADB grant to Indonesiaaims to "mitigate the risk of HIV associated with infrastructuredevelopment," according to the bank. The grant will help thecountry develop an HIV/AIDS prevention program aimed at theconstruction industry that will include providing workers withinformation about safer sex.

The number of HIV/AIDS cases inIndonesia has been "increasing exponentially" since 2000,according to ADB, which added that up to 100,000 people in thecountry could die from the disease within two years. Indonesia'sMinistry of Health estimates that 220,000 people of working age wereliving with HIV/AIDS last year and that an additional 8.2 millionpeople are at high risk of contracting the virus. The number ofHIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia is projected to reach 400,000 by 2010, bywhich an expected 100,000 people will have died from complicationsassociated with the disease, according to ADB (AFP/Yahoo! News,1/8).

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