Harm Reduction Journal

, 9:37

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

HIV prevalence and risk behaviours among injecting drug users in six indonesian cities implications for future HIV prevention programs

  • Guy MorineauAffiliated withFHI Asia Pacific Regional OfficeFHI Indonesia, Menara Salemba Email author 
  • , Liesbeth JM BollenAffiliated withFHI Indonesia, Menara Salemba
  • , Rizky Ika SyafitriAffiliated withFHI Indonesia, Menara Salemba
  • , Nurjannah NurjannahAffiliated withMinistry of Health, Republic of Indonesia
  • , Dyah Erti MustikawatiAffiliated withMinistry of Health, Republic of Indonesia
  • , Robert MagnaniAffiliated withFHI Indonesia, Menara Salemba



The HIV prevalence among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Indonesia reached 50% in 2005. While drug use remains illegal in Indonesia, a needle and syringe program (NSP) was implemented in 2006.


In 2007, an integrated behavioural and biological surveillance survey was conducted among IDUs in six cities. IDUs were selected via time-location sampling and respondent-driven sampling. A questionnaire was administered face-to-face. IDUs from four cities were tested for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Factors associated with HIV were assessed using generalized estimating equations. Risk for sexual transmission of HIV was assessed among HIV-positive IDUs.


Among 1,404 IDUs, 70% were daily injectors and 31% reported sharing needles in the past week. Most (76%) IDUs received injecting equipment from NSP in the prior week; 26% always carried a needle and those who didn’t, feared police arrest. STI prevalence was low (8%). HIV prevalence was 52%; 27% among IDUs injecting less than 1 year, 35% among those injecting for 1–3 years compared to 61% in long term injectors (p < 0.001). IDUs injecting for less than 3 years were more likely to have used clean needles in the past week compared to long term injectors (p < 0.001). HIV-positive status was associated with duration of injecting, ever been imprisoned and injecting in public parks. Among HIV-infected IDUs, consistent condom use last week with steady, casual and commercial sex partners was reported by 13%, 24% and 32%, respectively.


Although NSP uptake has possibly reduced HIV transmission among injectors with shorter injection history, the prevalence of HIV among IDUs in Indonesia remains unacceptably high. Condom use is insufficient, which advocates for strengthening prevention of sexual transmission alongside harm reduction programs.


Injecting drug users HIV Indonesia Harm reduction