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JAKARTA, Indonesia (January 23, 2001 – Indonesian Observer/Kabar-Irian)---Authorities in the easternmost province of Irian Jaya plan to make the use of condoms compulsory for extra-marital sex.

Jakarta-appointed Irian Jaya Governor J.P. Solossa was quoted yesterday as saying the obligatory use of condoms was aimed at curbing the spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

He gave no details on how the regulation would be policed, but said violators would be punished.

Although the regulation would eventually cover the whole of Irian Jaya, the first targets would be areas with high infection risks.

"We will soon issue a provincial decree on the obligatory use of condoms in specific high-risk locations and areas from where the disease could spread," Solossa said.

Irian Jaya province has one of Indonesia’s highest rates of HIV/AIDS sufferers. By the end of last year, the province had 320 cases of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, and 107 cases of full-blown AIDS.

Health Ministry estimates put the prevalence of AIDS in Irian Jaya at 4.86 per 100,000 people, or 25 times the national average of 0.2 per 100,000 people.

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