Against All Odds: HIV/AIDS Epidemic Among Indigenous Papuans
Yayasan Harapan Ibu (Mother's Hope Foundation), a local NGO in Jayapura, demonstrates the use of a condom at public places to help prevent the spread of the HIV virus.
In Papua, the majority of HIV transmission occurs through sexual encounters. The consistent use of condoms is perhaps one of the most effective ways to reduce or prevent HIV infection. Nevertheless, condoms are seen as taboo and frequently associated with sin, misconduct, and shame. Condom usage is often opposed or disregarded by religious and community leaders, and rarely discussed in public. Moreover, health staff endorses abstinence more frequently. Due to the lack of low condom education and promotion, the use of condoms is extremely low since many people in Papua do not know how to use them and many of them are embarrassed to obtain it despite its availability. More importantly, they do not understand the benefits of condom usage in reducing or preventing STDs and HIV infection.