HIV AIDS has become one of the key issues in Indonesia in the past two decades. However, HIV key population (KP) also faces multiple risks other than HIV transmission due their vulnerabilities towards stigma and discrimination. Despite existing barriers that hinder KP access to HIV prevention program, Indonesia has made tremendous progress in reaching KP and increasing the rate of HIV testing. Regrettably, the process to cope with barriers in prevention area is never been well documented to expand its utilization. This study aimed to provide recommendations for future HIV response related to punitive laws and persecution. The recommendations should be drawn based on mapping of current social and structural challenges and barriers and existing lessons learned and effective approach that have been taken in accordance to the situation. To fulfil this objective, risk environment framework has been adopted to guide the study process. Qualitative approach has been utilized from 102 participants through interview and FGDs participated by local and national informants in three study sites of DKI Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung.
Results from our study indicate that harms related to persecution and punitive laws towards sex workers, MSM, and transgender are persist and pose as social and legal barriers to HIV responses. The barriers predominantly occurred due to negative news coverages circulated in the public space such as same-sex party raids, arrestment of homosexual illegal sexual activity, and brothel closure. This types of news influenced public perception and increase stigma and discrimination towards these sub-populations. Allegedly, HIV misinformation, religious normative standard, political interest, and provocative media coverages have been the source of persecution. Consequently, social and legal barriers that hinder the HIV response emerged at various levels.
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