Structural, personal and socioenvironmental determinants of hiv transmission among transgender women in Indonesia

Nelsensius Klau Fauk, Maria Silvia Merry, Theodorus Asa Siri, Lillian Mwanri, Paul Russell Ward

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Abstract

Transgender populations are considered as a highly vulnerable group to HIV infection. This study aimed to understand structural, personal and socioenvironmental factors and the mechanisms through which these factors facilitate HIV transmission among transgender women (waria) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A qualitative inquiry using one-on-one in-depth interviews was employed to collect data from participants (n = 29). Thematic analysis was used to guide data analysis. Findings showed that poverty in families, a sense of responsibility to support family necessities, limited employment options and low education attainment were the structural factors driving participants’ engagement in sex work practices and unprotected anal intercourse, which facilitated HIV transmission among them. Personal need fulfilment and the desire for savings were personal factors driving their engagement in these high-risk practices that supported HIV transmission. Social relationships, social influence and the participants’ living environment were socioenvironmental factors that also supported sex work practices and HIV transmission among the participants. The findings indicate the need for capacity building in terms of knowledge and skills for waria populations to prepare and enable them to gain meaningful employment to prevent the vicious cycle of HIV transmission among them. As structural factors seemed to be the main drivers predisposing waria to HIV acquisition, further studies to explore effective HIV/AIDS interventions that address economic aspects of waria in Yogyakarta and other similar settings in Indonesia are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5814
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • HIV infection
  • Indonesia
  • Structural personal and socioenvironmental factors
  • Transgender women
  • Waria

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