© Vincent Rumahloine for Frontline AIDS

We’re on the frontline of harm reduction in Indonesia, helping people who use drugs access the support they need to protect themselves from the risk of HIV.

Like much of East Asia, injecting drug use is one of the biggest causes of HIV infection in Indonesia. Although new infections have fallen 27% since 2010, deaths from AIDS-related illness have risen sharply, with just 17% of those living with HIV getting the antiretroviral treatment they need.

Our work in Indonesia focuses on providing harm reduction programmes to help those using drugs minimise their risk of contracting HIV.


  • Almost 29% of people who inject drugs live with HIV.
  • 6% of Indonesia’s prisoners live with HIV.
  • 46,000 people are thought to have contracted HIV in 2018 alone.


Rumah Cemara

We work with Rumah Cemara to help marginalised populations – such as people who use drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), homeless people, migrants, and adolescent girls and young women – advocate for better access to HIV and health services. Rumah Cemara is experienced in providing and advocating for harm reduction services for people who use drugs and HIV treatment services for people living with HIV in Indonesia.

Created in 2003, Rumah Cemara was founded by five former drug users who wanted to support one another and help others in their situation. Today, they host a rehabilitation centre and run peer support groups for people with a history of drug use who are living with HIV.

They also work with people who use drugs in prisons and were influential in the country’s prison authorities’ decision to approve a pilot prison-based needle exchange programme. Rumah Cemara continues to advocate for harm reduction approaches to drug use, and the decriminalisation of drug use in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with the support from the PITCH programme.


In 2017, Rumah Cemara reached:

  • 3,794 people who use drugs with needle and syringe programmes.
  • 1,290 people who use drugs with opioid substitution therapy.

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