HIV is a significant public health issue for Indonesia which, outside the Papuan provinces, has been largely driven by injecting drug use. The majority of people who inject drugs in Indonesia are men, so most of the research relating to HIV and injecting drug use has been with men. However, international experience identifies that the experience of women who inject is different to that of men and that gender-specific HIV prevention strategies are needed. Therefore, information about women who inject drugs in Indonesia is necessary for HIV policy and programs.
A qualitative study was conducted between February and May 2010 in three small cities of central Java: Yogyakarta, Solo and Salatiga. In-depth interviews were conducted with 19 women who inject drugs to investigate their vulnerability to HIV. Data were collected by trainee Indonesian researchers from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), under the supervision of senior researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and UGM.