Objectives: To assess the HIV/AIDS epidemic situation among female sex workers (FSW) in Indonesia using data from the 2007 Integrated Biological-Behavioural Surveillance (IBBS).
Methods: Behavioural data were collected from time-location samples of 5947 FSW in 10 cities in late 2007. HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia test results were obtained for 4396, 4324, 3291 and 3316 FSW, respectively. Trends in HIV prevalence were assessed via linkage with sentinel surveillance data. Factors associated with HIV, gonorrhoea and chlamydia infection were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: HIV prevalence averaged 10.5% among direct and 4.9% among indirect FSW, and had increased steadily among direct FSW from 2002 to 2007. Prevalence of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and active syphilis averaged 35.6%, 31.8% and 7.3%, respectively, among direct FSW, and 28.7%, 14.3% and 3.5% among indirect FSW. Being a direct FSW, younger age and having current infection with syphilis and gonorrhoea and/or chlamydia were associated with a higher likelihood of HIV infection. Number of clients in the past week and consumption of alcohol before having sex were associated with a higher likelihood of gonorrhoea and/or chlamydia infection, while having received a STI clinic check-up in the previous 3 months and/or periodic presumptive treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the past 6 months were associated with reduced likelihood of infection.
Conclusions: The HIV/AIDS epidemic among FSW in Indonesia appears to be expanding, albeit unevenly across provinces and types of FSW. High STI prevalence is conducive to further expansion, but recent efforts to strengthen STI control appear promising.