Serum samples were tested for antibodies to HIV using the Vitas Duo test (Organon Technika, Boxtel, NL).
Sixty nine massage parlours supporting male sex workers (MSW) were identified throughout Jakarta.After explaining the study to all massage parlour managers, study teams visited every establishment to invite participation of all sex workers.In early 2002, formative research identified a variety of subpopulations of MSM in Jakarta.These included waria and male identified sex workers and their clients, as well as men who have sex with other men out of sexual preference.Many waria identify themselves as females; none of the other groups necessarily identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual.
Community organisations mapped the locations where these populations gathered to meet new partners and where commercial sex transactions took place.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health therefore collaborated in cross sectional surveys of HIV and syphilis seroprevalence and sexual behaviour among these groups in the capital city, Jakarta.
There is evidence that sexual identities among those who engage in male-male sex are more fluid in Asia than in many industrialised countries, and a high proportion of men who have sex with men (MSM) also have sex with women.
Some 9% of sex workers refused, and managers denied access to 10 establishments, bringing the overall non-participation rate to 24%. The MSM community were invited to participate by trained field staff—mostly homosexual men—who visited all gay bars, nightclubs, and cruising locations in Jakarta at peak times. Sixteen men contacted in gay internet chat rooms by study staff also enrolled after being given appointments at data collection points; 279 MSM were included in analysis.
At the data collection point, the supervisor explained the study procedures more fully, answered questions, and sought informed consent before enrolling participants.
The study was anonymous; biological specimens and questionnaires were linked by unique number, which participants could use to access test results.