Bali Foundation Calls for Increased Testing To Curb HIV Among Male Sex Workers
The Gaya Dewata Foundation -- a group focused on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection education, support and treatment in Bali -- recently called for increased STI testing among male sex workers who have sex with both men and women, the Jakarta Post/Asia News Network reports. Although an HIV/AIDS and STI outreach program launched in 2006 by the foundation has reached as many as 360 male sex workers, foundation representatives said the increasing number of men in this particular group could contribute to the spread of HIV and other STIs. The group said that the high risk of HIV among this particular group of sex workers largely is because they switch between male and female partners and are very mobile, the Post/Asia News Network reports.
The number of male sex workers who switch between male and female partners is increasing, and the foundation has focused its support services on serving this particular group. According to the foundation's director Vivi, the decrease in the number of STIs recorded among male sex workers visiting foundation clinics is a result of "intensive support, such as education and free medication." Bali has recorded 2,208 HIV/AIDS cases, 133 of which occur among men who have sex with men, according to the Bali Commission for AIDS Handling (De Suryani, Jakarta Post/Asia News Network, 10/4).