Commemorating World AIDS Day: The Great Role Of The Community Is Needed To Reduce The Number Of Patients
World AIDS Day 2023 which is celebrated every December 1 carries the theme Let Communities Lead. (Unsplash / Kristen Wood)

JAKARTA Today, December 1 is celebrated as World AIDS Day. AIDS Day commemoration is carried out to show support for people living with HIV AIDS.

Every year, the commemoration of AIDS is always celebrated with different themes. The theme of AIDS World Day this year is Let Communities Lead. literally, the meaning of the theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day is 'let people lead'.

Through this theme, the message to be conveyed is that with the role of the world community for campaigns on the dangers and effects of AIDS, it is believed that it can reduce the number of AIDS sufferers.

"People not only act as a preventive and promotive effort, but also support efforts to treat patients with HIV AIDS," said General Chairperson of the Indonesian Doctors Association (PB IDI) Dr. dr. Moh. Adib Khumaidi, SpOT in a webinar held by IDI, Thursday (30/11/2023).

Although education about HIV and AIDS has been massive lately, there are still many people who think they are the same thing. Whereas HIV and AIDS are two different things.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is still a health problem around the world. The virus attacks the human immune system so that it is susceptible to various diseases.

Meanwhile, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a further stage of HIV infection if these conditions do not quickly receive medical treatment.

AIDS is a collection of some health problems caused by the very weak immune system. Thus, infections that should be mild for healthy individuals can be fatal for AIDS sufferers.

Throughout 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that at least 630 thousand people died from HIV. This condition is exacerbated by the absence of drugs to cure AIDS.

In the past, people with HIV AIDS (ODHA) were ostracized and distanced away. However, thanks to education to the public, the negative stigma of HIV AIDS sufferers is starting to fade.

"Dulutuh's touch with the AIDS people is already afraid, but now with education from the media the public has also begun to understand AIDS," said Dr. Adib again.

But at the same time, Dr. Adib said HIV AIDS is like an iceberg phenomenon. Because HIV AIDS does not stand alone in the context of an AIDS disease, but it can also be with other diseases.

"For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic yesterday, one of the comorbidities that caused COVID-19 patients to die was patients with immune disorders or HIV AIDS," he explained.

Since the commemoration of the first World AIDS day in 1988, Prof. Dr. Zubairi Djoerban, Sp.PD-KHOM as a member of the PB IDI Advisory Council, conveyed several positive notes, namely various progress in the field of medical research as well as a strategy that is sharper and more targeted in the field of treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV conditions have been in a serious position, so that handling plans have become messy and neglected. In addition, there have also been setbacks that cause the number of HIV sufferers to continue to increase and many have dropped treatment.

For this reason, Dr. Zubairi recommends several recommendations, including the routine implementation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) every three months and borne by BPJS. ART therapy is used to support the immune system, but it should be noted that ART therapy is not a therapy to cure HIV.

Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is a recommended treatment for everyone infected with HIV. Although it cannot cure HIV, ART can help prolong the chances of life of sufferers and become healthier. In addition, ART can also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

"So, if all HIV sufferers are diagnosed and take ART medication regularly, there will be no more transmission," said Dr. Zubairi.

However, he underlined that this ART therapy has not been fully successful because it is caused by several factors. Some of them are because not all HIV sufferers want to take the ART drug.

Ini merupakan salah satu kendala yang terjadi di lapangan. Selain itu, yang sudah minum ART juga kerap putus obat (tidak melanjutkan pengobat) sehingga terjadi resisten ART, terangnya.

For this reason, here the role of the community or HIV community and counselors is needed to help HIV sufferers more easily access ART and keep them from taking treatment.

Monkeypox or Mpox is being discussed in recent months following the increase in cases in Indonesia, especially DKI Jakarta.

Mpox itself is one of the diseases that transmits it through risky sexual activity. And it turns out, many monkeypox patients in Indonesia have dangerous comorbidities, one of which is HIV infection.

"On average, it is accompanied by disease. Most patients have positive HIV. Of the 57 people exposed to monkeypox, 39 people have positive HIV," said Director of Health Quarantine Surveillance of the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P) of the Ministry of Health Achmad Farchanny Tri Adyanto.

The Ministry of Health noted that there were 57 cases of monkeypox in Indonesia, and DKI Jakarta was the largest contributor with 42 cases. The rest, six people from Banten, six people from West Java, two people from East Java and one in the Riau Islands.

Of that number, 33 of them recovered, while seven people underwent treatment at the hospital. A total of 14 others are self-isolating at home under surveillance and one person is declared dead.

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