I Just Trust Him: The Notion of Consideration as a Barrier to Condom Use amongst Women Who Inject Drugs in Central Java


The HIV epidemic in Indonesia has risen sharply since 2004, from 2682 cases in 2004 to 19,973 in 2009. The main transmission route of HIV in Indonesia is injecting drug use. There is little research on women who inject drugs in Indonesia. In-depth interviews were carried out with 19 women who injected drugs in three small cities in central Java. The interviews explored the living conditions of the women and the context of HIV risk. The transcripts were coded and the data were thematically analyzed. In this paper we report on condom use with regular partners. Condom use was very low with their regular partners, even though both they and their partners were injecting drug users. The reasons women gave were that they trusted their partners (although they realised this trust was shaky). The women used traditional Javanese cultural concepts of consideration to explain why they did not use condoms. This was heightened by other cultural norms of women’s place in Javanese society. Although the women in the study were marginalized because of their drug use, they still hold to many Indonesian cultural precepts—of consideration and care for the other above oneself in their relationships with their regular partners which impede condom use. While notions of consideration and harmony were used to explain non-condom use, the same notions could also be used in couple-counseling to assist.


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A. Saktiawati, H. Worth, E. Lazuardi, C. Spooner, Y. Subronto and R. Padmawati, "I Just Trust Him: The Notion of Consideration as a Barrier to Condom Use amongst Women Who Inject Drugs in Central Java," World Journal of AIDS, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 298-304. doi: 10.4236/wja.2013.34038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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