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September 11, 2007

HIV on the Rise in Bali

Indonesia’s deep-sea fishermen often go for months without sight of land—or women. As Bali’s booming prostitution trade satiates their needs once they pull into Benoa Harbor, it also puts them at risk for HIV, the Associated Press reports.

Asia is home to 85 percent of the world’s fishermen, and HIV rates among fisherman in some Asian countries are four to 14 times higher than that of the general population. Recent studies have also revealed that infection rates among Asia’s commercial fishermen are five times higher than those of truck drivers, another increasingly at-risk group.

Despite prevalence of HIV among fishermen—some of whom believe Indonesian women are “free of HIV”—Bali’s wharf remains regrettably free of AIDS information, outreach workers and condom machines.

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