HIV susceptibility among clients of female sex workers in Indonesia: a qualitative inquiry

Lillian Mwanri, Nelsensius Klau Fauk, Christina Yeni Kustanti, Atik Ambarwati, Maria Silvia Merry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The spread of HIV infection among men in Indonesia continues to increase every year. Clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are a group at higher risk of acquiring HIV infection due to their frequent engagement in sexual acts with sex workers. This study aimed to identify factors of susceptibility to HIV infection among clients of FSWs. Methods: A qualitative inquiry using one-on-one in-depth interviews was conducted in the Belu and Malaka districts of Indonesia from January to April 2017. The study participants (n=42) were the clients of FSWs recruited using the snowball sampling technique. The inclusion criteria were: being a client of FSWs and being aged 18 years or more. Data were analysed using a framework analysis. Results: Findings were grouped into two main emerging themes that included behavioural and socioeconomic factors. Behavioural factors that mediated HIV susceptibility among clients of FSWs were: frequent engagement in unsafe sex with multiple sex workers; low perceptions of the relevance of available HIV and AIDS services and limited access to these services; and HIV stigma or fear of being labelled as HIV positive. Socioeconomic factors included: participants' economic situation; and individuals' household responsibility and ability to afford FSWs services. Conclusions: The study results indicate the need to reformulate and improve HIV and AIDS-related services, including increasing the level of availability of HIV service points and the dissemination of knowledge and information about HIV and AIDS and condom use and making them accessible to both FSWs and their clients in Belu and Malaka districts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalSexual Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018


  • HIV and AIDS
  • sexual behaviour
  • socioeconomic factors
  • Asia


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