Like much of East Asia, injecting drug use is a key driver of HIV in Indonesia. It is estimated that there were 72,000 new HIV infections in Indonesia in 2015 alone.
In 2003, five former drug users decided to be part of the solution. They formed Rumah Cemara to support each other and other people who inject drugs. The Alliance has been working with them to provide harm reduction services to people who use drugs in Indonesia.
Rumah Cemara hosts a rehabilitation centre and runs peer support groups for people living with HIV in Indonesia who have a history of drug use, as well as people who use drugs in prison. In 2014, following Rumah Cemara’s advocacy, prison authorities in Indonesia approved a pilot prison-based needle exchange programme.
Recently, the organisation’s advocacy work has focused on continuing to strengthen harm reduction programming at a national level through the formation of a community coalition which reviews the work related to the narcotic law amendment in Indonesia.
As well as the services they provide directly, Rumah Cemara supports other community organisations working with HIV and people who inject drugs with financial and technical support. Rumah Cemara directly implemented the Community Action on Harm Reduction project, which aimed to expand harm reduction services to more than 180,000 people who inject drugs, their partners and children in five countries. This work is continued through the Alliance’s Integrated Harm Reduction Programme. In 2016, Rumah Cemara reached 1,815 people who use drugs with harm reduction services.
Not only that – they're football crazy! They have taken part in the national street football championship and the homeless world cup, to reduce HIV and drug use stigma across the globe.