The main cause of the spread of HIV infections in Jombang (as is the case in many other cities all over Asia) comes from prostitutes living in Dolly in Surabaya. Dolly is a brothel district and has also become a tourist destination. Even though the city is known from its quite strict Islamic education, infections like these still happen there and the fact that the HIV virus has ravaged the health of so many people since 1990 just can’t be denied. It's the reality and denying this might make the situation even worse in the future.
Obviously the need for sex education, giving out the correct information, is indispensable and the Indonesian government should take care about this and act in a more concerned way than it has so far. A country should protect its people- not only by telling them what they should and shouldn't do, but also by helping those people who are ill and in need. Or preferably, help them by teaching them the right way to protect themselves from getting infected and the need to get tested (Know Your Status)- people who are infected with HIV but who don't know this, might go on infecting others without even knowing it. Did you know that in Asia 90% of all women who get infected with HIV get this from their husband or long term partner after he has visited an infected prostitute behind her back? If these unfaithful husbands would realize the dangers of HIV infection and use a condom while visiting a prostitute, he won't be playing with his health and that of his wife anymore. Which is not to say we condone men visiting prostitutes (we don't), but it's another reality of life that a smart society has to deal with in a responsible way. Just saying "You should not do that!" is not always working.
If young people can’t get the correct and essential information from their parents, at school and/or from their friends, now at least they can find it online and that’s the aim of our new social media platform 'Indonesia against Aids': to help young people by providing important health information through a dedicated social media platform, including our new website. I hope our government opens their eyes a bit wider and will realize that sex education is crucial in today’s society: many people will be having sex, also outside of marriage. Like it or not, these are the facts and health education should be given accordingly. Nobody ‘deserves’ to get infected with HIV, whatever your or their morals are.