A local HIV/AIDS watchdog has warned that condom use in the commercial sex setting is still low, bad news for an island that has seen an increasing number of new HIV cases among heterosexuals and sex workers.
A recent behavioral survey carried out by the Denpasar AIDS Mitigation Commission (KPAD) found that only 39 percent of sex workers had consistently asked their clients to use a condom in the last seven days before the survey took place.
“This finding shows that condom use is still low, because the level of rejection among clients is still high,” KPAD secretary Tri Indarti said.
The clients who refused to use condoms argued that it lessened the sensation and their enjoyment, and threatened to cancel the transaction.
“There is also an interesting finding; 5 percent of the respondents claimed that they were drunk when they engaged in sexual intercourse with their clients. They couldn’t even maintain their awareness at that critical time, let alone warn their clients about using condoms.”
The survey also found out that 80 percent of the respondents had successfully persuaded their clients to use condoms in their last act of sexual intercourse.
In order to be able to reduce the possible risk of HIV infection, consistent condom use must reach the clients of at least 60 percent of the active sex workers.
The survey was carried out last March and utilized the random sampling method targeting 240 sex workers in eight red-light areas in and around Denpasar.
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Source: The Jakarta Post