First National Correctional System HIV Prevalence study in Indonesia Launched

Tuesday, 28 June. The Directorate of Corrections, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Republic of Indonesia today released the report on HIV and Syphilis Prevalence and Risk Behaviour among Prisoners in Prisons and Detention Centres in Indonesia 2010 at a launch in Jakarta. The study is the first of its kind for South East Asia and establishes a baseline for HIV prevalence, as well as syphilis and the risks of infection across correctional settings in Indonesia.

Indonesia has over 80,000 prisoners in over 430 prisons and detention centres across the archipelago. This population study successfully sampled male and female prisoners from 24 centres across 13 Provinces.

The study reported HIV prevalence of 6.0% for female and 1.1% for male participants. Among respondents who had a history of injecting drug use, HIV prevalence was 12% among females and 8% among males. The rates for syphilis similarly higher among females: 8.5% versus 5.1% for males.

The report was officially launched by Drs Untung Sugiono, Director General of Corrections, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights following opening remarks from the National AIDS Commission and Mr Gary Lewis, UNODC Regional Representative for East Asia and the Pacific. In addressing the launch Mr Lewis congratulated the Directorate for dedicating resources to this study, noting the importance of sound data and research to planning the response to an issue such as HIV in correctional settings. Mr Lewis also noted the progress made in the delivery of the comprehensive package of services to inmates and those which are still being discussed, which UNODC will be encouraging and supporting.
A presentation of the study findings by the Director, Healthcare, Pak Muqowimul Aman completed the proceedings.

Noting some of the key information the study has provided it is clear that the coverage of IEC programs within prisons and detentions centre is high, as is the access to voluntary counselling and testing. However treatment services and prevention programmes still appear to be limited. Few prisoners reported having sex or injecting drugs while in prison.

Technical and funding support for the study included UNODC and HCPI, the AusAID funded HIV programme in Indonesia. The full report may be downloaded here.