Indonesian prisons and HIV: part of the problem, part of the solution?

Erni Juwita, Aly Diana, Reinout van Crevel, Nisaa Nur Alam, Bachti Alisjahbana, Herdiman T. Pohan, Andre van der Ven, Ilham Djaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Around the world, HIV-prevalence rates among prisoners are high compared to the general population. This is due to overrepresentation of injecting drug users (IDUs) in prison and possible HIV-transmission inside prison. Limited health services in penitentiary institutes, stigma, policy issues, and budgetary constraints may hamper delivery of appropriate services for HIV in prison. Prisons may, on the other hand, enable the access to a high risk population for HIV-prevention and -care. IDUs are namely hard to reach outside prisons, while in prison targeted interventions for IDUs can be used repeatedly and economically. Also, harm reduction and HIV-treatment can be supervised and monitored carefully. This paper reviews HIV-prevention and care in prison, and describes the experience in one particular prison in West Java, Indonesia. Based on the literature and local experience, one can conclude that effective and widespread HIV-testing and treatment can be established in prisons if there is commitment from prison authorities, endorsement of services by prison staff and inmates, and collaboration with health care providers from outside prison. Essential components of HIV-services in prison include appropriate health care services, a suitable environment for HIV-counseling and -testing and tailored services for injecting drug use. By partner counseling and linking HIV-services in prison with continued care afterwards, prisons may contribute significantly to HIV-control in the general population, especially in settings where HIV is often due to injecting drug use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-56
Number of pages5
JournalActa medica Indonesiana
Volume41 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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