Inequalities in addressing the HIV epidemic: the story of the Indonesian Ojek community

Klau Fauk, Lillian Mwanri

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the potential socio-cultural determinants contributing to inequalities and the susceptibility of the Ojek to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. Design/methodology/approach – In 2010 a qualitative enquiry was employed to collect data concerning the susceptibility of the Ojek to HIV infection. Both one-on-one open-ended in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were employed. Participants included Ojek (hired motorcycle drivers), religious and community leaders, staff from the HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Commission of Belu and staff from two HIV/AIDS non-governmental organisations. A thematic analysis and a framework approach were used to analyse the data. Findings – The findings showed four socio-cultural determinants of susceptibility to HIV infection within the Ojek community. These included: first, mobility and migration; second, patterns of sexual behaviours, sexual networks and sexual incentives; third, cultural norms and social interactions; and fourth, the lack of resources, knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS. Underpinned by these factors, the main determinant of HIV susceptibility for the Ojek is an individual’s engagement in sexual intercourse with multiple sex partners, including female commercial sex workers (FCSWs). Social implications – There is a need to disseminate HIV/AIDS information and education throughout the Ojek communities, and to engage the general population in the promotion of sexual behavioural change among the Ojek in Belu. Empowerment strategies should also be employed to empower the general community, the Ojek and FCSWs in order to address HIV/AIDS transmission. Originality/value – This paper provides evidence of the socio-cultural determinants of HIV inequalities within the Ojek community in Indonesia. An understanding of these determinants would enable the planning, implementation and application of a holistic approach addressing the determinants of HIV in Belu and other similar settings. Additionally, knowledge of such determinants would provide an understanding of the role of inter-sectoral collaboration and community participation in tackling the susceptibility to HIV infection within the Ojek community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-159
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


    • Belu district
    • HIV/AIDS susceptibility
    • Ojek community
    • Socio-cultural determinants


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