Spread Of HIV In Indonesia Primarily Fueled By Commercial Sex Work

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VOA News on Wednesday examined how the spread of HIV in Indonesia primarily is fueled by commercial sex work. According to VOA News,about seven million to 10 million men annually visit sex workers in thecountry, many of whom have not been educated about HIV/AIDS. HIVprevention efforts in 2004 reached about 18% of female sex workers and7% of their clients, according to the United Nations. Some dataindicate that the level of knowledge about the virus is increasingamong sex workers and their clients, according to VOA News.

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Accordingto Esthi Susanti Hudiono -- head of Hotline Surabaya, an organizationthat runs employment programs that offer alternatives to sex work, aswell as a theater group for women -- said that it is "almost impossibleto give sex workers bargaining power in terms of condoms." HotlineSurabaya in 2004 lobbied for a local regulation that requires clientsof sex workers in Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia, to use condoms, butthe law is not enforced, VOA News reports. Hudiono addedthat condoms should be mandatory and that the message to use themshould come from the "elite of government and the elite of society."

HotlineSurabaya also operates health clinics in Surabaya and works to empowerchildren of sex workers to receive an education, according to VOA News (Anderton, VOA News, 9/12).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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