Like much of East Asia, injecting drug use is a key driver of HIV in Indonesia. It is estimated that there were 48,000 new HIV infections in Indonesia in 2016 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.
Rumah Cemara partners with the Alliance in the PITCH programme, a five-year project focused on advocacy for key populations to access services and equal rights. In 2017, Rumah Cemara’s advocacy work focused on continuing to advocate for harm reduction approaches while the country was reviewing its narcotic law, plus to initiate a counter act against the criminalisation process of LGBT people 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 2017, Rumah Cemara reached 3,794 people who use drugs with needle and syringe programmes, and 1,920 people who use drugs with opioid substitution therapy.
Not only that – they're football crazy! They take part in the national street football championship and the homeless world cup, to reduce HIV and drug use stigma across the globe.