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Susceptibility and risk factors associated with HIV infection among clients of female sex workers in Indonesia: A qualitative inquiry

Lillian Mwanri , Nelsensius Fauk , Christina Kustanti , Atik Ambarwati , Maria Merry

Abstract

Background The spread of HIV infection among men in Indonesia continues to increase every year. Clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are a group at higher risk of acquiring HIV infection due to their frequent engagement in sexual acts with sex workers. Purpose This study aimed to identify susceptibility factors to HIV infection among clients of FSWs. Methods A qualitative inquiry using one-on-one in-depth interviews was conducted in Belu and Malaka districts, Indonesia in 2017. The study participants (n=42) were the clients of FSWs recruited using snowball sampling technique. The inclusion criteria were: being a client of FSWs, and being aged 18 years above. Data were analysed using a framework analysis. Results Findings were grouped into two main emerging themes including behavioural and socioeconomic factors. Behavioural factors that mediated HIV susceptibility among clients of FSWs were (i) frequent engagement in unsafe sex with multiple sex workers, (ii) low perceptions of the relevance of available HIV/AIDS services and low access to these services, and (iii) HIV stigma or fear of being labelled as HIV positive people. Socioeconomic factors included (i) participants’ economic conditions, and (ii) individuals’ household responsibility and affordability of FSWs services. Conclusions The study results indicate the need to reformulate and improve HIV/AIDS-related services, including increasing the level of availability of HIV service points and the dissemination of knowledge and information about HIV/AIDS and condoms, and make them accessible for both FSWs and their clients in Belu and Malaka districts.

SH17137  Accepted 24 October 2017

© CSIRO 2017