Anti-Gay Stigma Hampering HIV Treatment in Indonesia Experts Warn

Experts warn that health workers’ reluctance to treat LGBT people is hampering efforts to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia, putting lives in danger and failing high risk groups.

From Jakarta Globe:

Rohana Manggala, head of the Jakarta branch of the Commission on HIV/AIDS Prevention (KPA), said on Thursday that health facilities in the capital needed to be more inclusive.

“Generally, health services for HIV/AIDS tests and treatment is getting better, but we have to admit there are still many health workers who attach strong stigma to certain groups,” she said.

[...]

Tono Purnama Muhammad, national coordinator for a gay and transsexual network, said many of his group’s members were reluctant to seek health services because of the stigma.

“Most health facilities in Jakarta provide health services for sexually transmitted infections and voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS, but only a few have proper understanding about gays, bisexuals and transgendered people,” he said. “As a result, many people from this community are reluctant to have themselves checked because they don’t want to be judged.”

To remedy this problem, government officials are working closely with HIV/AIDS prevention groups to draft policies designed to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people access services more freely.

The program will also include sensitivity training for community health center workers across Jakarta’s five municipalities.

Relatively few men in Asia identify as gay due to societal norms.  Men that do have sex with other men are more likely to engage in brief high risk encounters and are, in turn, less likely to seek treatment for infection. But when they do, it is imperative that health workers do not turn them away or act in a way that discourages them seeking further assistance.

Estimates published on HIV/AIDS prevention charity website avert.org shows that there are about 314,000 people living with HIV in Indonesia, which, it notes, has the fastest growing epidemic in Asia.

If left unchecked, those figures are set to more than double by 2014. You can read more here.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Stully Pixel.

19 comments

Jane W
Jane Wabout a month ago

I was been suffering hardshiply from HIV/AIDS since 9yrs now, and i happen to have 2 kids for my husband, and now we cannot proceed to have another kids all because of my disease and now i have do all what a human like i and my husband can do just to get my disease healed, i have went to several places to seek for help not even one person could ever help, until i melt a comment on the daily news paper that was commented by Miss Marilyn about how this powerful traditional doctor help her get cured of the disease (HIV-AIDS) " my fellow beloved" i firstly taugh having a help from a spiritual traditional healer was a wrong idea, but i think of these, will i continue to stress on these disease all day when i have someone to help me save my life?" so i gather all my faiths and put in all interest to contact him through his Email address at drehimarespelltemple@gmail.com , so after i have mailed him of helping get my disease cured, i respond to me fast as possible that i should not be afraid, that he is a truthful and powerful doctor which i firstly claimed him to be. So after all set has been done, he promise me that i will be healed but on a condition that i provide him some items and obeyed all his oracle said. I did all by accepting his oracolous fact and only to see that the following week Dr Ehimare mail me on my mail box that my work is successfully done with his powers, i was first shocked and later arrise to be the happiest woman on earth after i

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Paris H.
Paris H.6 years ago

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Mikaila H.
Mikaila H6 years ago

Thankyou - I wish things like this didn't exist. People need to be more accepting. Proper treatment should be available to any person wanting it.

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Bernadette P.
Berny p6 years ago

Thanks for the info

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Jessica M.
Jessica M6 years ago

Such a sad situation. thanks for the informative article

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Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

It's a sad situation. Thanks for the article.

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Michal Ciepielewski

thanks a lot:)

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Grainne O'Carroll
Grainne OCarroll6 years ago

It's great that policies are being drafted to combat this intolerance, but very sad that they need to be drafted at all.

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Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Inmany corners of the globe there are many stigmas associated with AIDS/HIV being strictly a gay man's disease. Old fashioned mindsets like that contribute to the problem and make it harder to reach certain populations in terms of education, treatment and support andfor those populations to seek and get the help they need.

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Maira Sun
Maira Sun6 years ago

Gracias!

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