Indonesia’s health ministry has apologized for a ‘printing error’ on posters claiming HIV can be transmitted through mosquito bites, swimming, food, saliva, sweat and even sneezing.
Hundreds of the posters were plastered over trains in Jakarta at the weekend but were removed after a public outcry.
Senior ministry official Muhammad Subuh put the blunder down to a ‘printing error.’ He said the printing company had missed out the word ‘not’ and failed to get final approval from officials.
‘We have made a public apology and now the banners are being removed and replaced with the correct ones,’ Subuh told AFP.
‘They omitted the word “not,” it was an honest mistake.’
But HIV activist Fajar Jasmin tweeted that the botched public awareness campaign – which was supposed to debunk myths surrounding the disease – was a ‘stupid, fatal mistake.’
According to UNAIDS estimates, between 600,000 and 720,000 Indonesians are living with HIV.