October 16, 2008
Indonesia Encouraged to Treat Jailed Drug Users
With an estimated 25 percent of Indonesia’s convicted drug users believed to be HIV-positive, the country is encouraged to decriminalize drug use and expand its drug treatment centers, The Associated Press reports.
“People who injected drugs have a disease,” said Christian Kroll, the U.N. global coordinator for HIV/AIDS. “People who have a disease don’t belong in prison. They need to be treated.”
The Indonesian government is working on decriminalizing drug use but is concerned that its 45 drug rehabilitation clinics will be overwhelmed if the 28,000 jailed drug users were released at once.
Out of the country’s 235 million citizens, it is estimated that 290,000 are infected with HIV.
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