3/33 provinces

Alliance linking organisation in Indonesia, Rumah Cemara, was set up in 2003 by five former drug users to support each other and others like them.

Indonesia has multiple regional epidemics of HIV, reflecting the country’s diverse archipelago of 17,000 islands. An epidemic among injecting drug users overlaps with an epidemic among prisoners who use contaminated injecting equipment.

In some areas, HIV is widespread among female sex workers and their clients, waria (transgender people) and men who have sex with men.

Reaching affected populations can be difficult given Indonesia’s conservative social and religious environment.



  • Became an Alliance Linking Organisation in July 2009
  • In 2010 won the Ashoka-Changemakers Award
  • In 2012 one of Rumah Cemara’s founding Directors won the Levis Pioneer Award
  • In 2012 held the first national street football championship, which involved 8 provinces in Indonesia
  • 2,360 people reached through stigma and discrimination activities in 2011
  • 6,047 people reached through prevention activities in 2011
  • 903 people reached with voluntary testing and counselling in 2011
  • 1,824 injecting drug users reached with needle and syringe programmes in 2011
  • 3,554 people reached by care and support programmes in 2011


Working with drug users

Rumah Cemara prioritises a human rights approach and empowerment of injecting drug users. Rumah Cemara recognises that there is more than one approach to harm reduction and that drug users need to be given choices to meet their needs.

Rumah Cemara operates mainly in West Java Province, which has one the highest levels of injecting drug use in Indonesia. It provides a range of HIV services through its three main programmes:

  • promotion of harm reduction for injecting drug users
  • a rehabilitation centre
  • peer support groups of people living with HIV who have a history of drug use through the Bandung Plus Support programme

Rumah Cemara’s harm reduction programmes include working with drug users in prison – offering referrals, giving information and psychosocial support.

Rumah Cemara is implementing the Alliance’s Community Action on Harm Reduction (CAHR) programme, which is funded by the Dutch Government.  This programme includes delivery of methadone maintenance therapy support, outreach, local level advocacy to improve human rights, and organisational development and technical support to local implementing partners.  Through the CAHR programme Rumah Cemara has expanded to work with implementing partners in two additional provinces.

Strengthening civil society

As well as directly providing services, Rumah Cemara supports over 40 other community based organisations working with HIV positive drug users, changing and challenging the views of health service providers, law enforcement agencies and the local community.

Football for Social Change

Rumah Cemera’s innovative, community-driven Football for Social Change Programme aims to raise awareness of HIV and drug issues. It uses football as a way to enhance access to information and services by creating links to Rumah Cemara’s other programmes and Indonesia’s health system. This includes HIV counselling, antiretroviral therapy, adherence support, and services around the integration of HIV, TB and sexual and reproductive health.

It is delivered through a peer-to-peer approach and puts individual empowerment at the centre of its objectives. The programme targets a variety of beneficiaries including people living with HIV, people who use drugs, people living with disadvantages and other community members.