Few MSM in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aware of HIV/AIDS; Stigma Hindering Prevention Efforts
Few men who have sex with men in Jakarta, Indonesia, are aware of HIV/AIDS and how to prevent the spread of the virus, and social stigma associated with being HIV-positive has hindered HIV/AIDS prevention efforts among the MSM community, the Jakarta Post reports. Yakub Gunawan, an HIV/AIDS advocate who is conducting research on HIV/AIDS awareness among MSM in Jakarta, said that many MSM refuse to be tested for HIV "because they fear society's judgment." He added that most MSM "know they are in a high-risk group prone to HIV infection. However, there is a kind of denial on their part. They don't want to get tested for HIV because if they're HIV-positive, they would have to face a double stigma of being gay and having HIV." Many MSM in Jakarta are married and are at an increased risk of transmitting the virus to their wives, according to Yakub. Among 25 participants in Yakub's research, 14 agreed to receive an HIV test, four of whom tested positive, the Post reports (Sabarini, Jakarta Post, 4/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.