The Indonesian Ministry of Health has been promoting the implementation of HIV self-testing programme at workplace through its Health Ministerial Decree No. 23/2022 on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease (IMS). The HIV self-testing, also known as the Community-based HIV Self -Screening in Indonesia, has been considered by the government of Indonesia as one of the effective ways to prevent and control the HIV/AIDS in the country. Through several action research activities in various communities, including the community-based workplaces, workplace is identified as part of strategic community-based HIV self-screening to target particularly productive aged workers.
The workplaces can contribute to HIV prevention and control, particularly workplaces with a large absorption of labour in HIV high-risk behaviours such as working in remote areas, being far from their family and high-mobility with money. The HIV self-testing programme can contribute to the achievement of ending the epidemic of HIV/AIDS by 2030."Endang Lukitosari, Head of HIV and IMS Team of the Ministry of Health
The HIV self-testing experience sharing was conducted by the ILO’s HIV/AIDS programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower. The discussion was part of the launch of a series of innovative interventions on scaling up HIV/AIDS preventions at the workplace. The launch was also marked the official handover of these series of interventions on HIV/AIDS prevention at workplace from the ILO to the Ministry of Manpower.
During the session, representatives of PT Pertamina Persero and PT Waskita Karya Persero (tbk) shared their experiences in piloting HIV self-testing programme for their employees in 14 working sites. The pilot programme reached a total of 4,966 workers consisting of 4,241 male workers and 752 female workers.
The pilot programme was initiated by the ILO in collaboration with Kusuma Buana Foundation based on the HIV self-testing action research conducted in these two companies above. The programme was also supported by PATH which had provided the HIV test kits. The implementation processes, lessons learnt and recommendations were reported in a good practice report titled "A good practice on HIV self-testing at workplace in Indonesia: Experiences of PT Pertamina (Persero) and PT Waskita Karya (Tbk)".
Using oral fluid screening, the HIV self-testing tools were distributed through four distribution channels: company’s medical staff, HIV prevention and control team, peer educator/trade union and pharmacy. Out of five reactive workers, after a follow-up HIV test, three were confirmed positive and have received further care and treatment.
“We really appreciate the opportunity given to conduct the HIV self-testing programme. We consider the programme as a realization of the commitment from our high-level management since 2011. A non-discriminatory policy has also been included in our collective bargaining agreement,” said dr Ahmad Soim Munawar, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) team of PT Pertamina.
Meanwhile, Riza J. Baha, a researcher from the Faculty of Public Health, University of Indonesia, shared the key findings on HIV self-testing evaluation study. The study examined the customer satisfaction and willingness to pay for community-based HIV screening among key population in Indonesia.
We still need to focus on the elimination of stigma and discrimination that can harm the success of the HIV self-screening programme. If the workers are still afraid to reveal their status, they will be denied of further treatment that they urgently need."Meirinda Sebayang, Head of the Positive Indonesia Network
From the perspective of advocacy, Meirinda Sebayang, Head of the Positive Indonesia Network, reminded that workers with HIV still faced stigma and discrimination at work. As a result, workers with HIV were still reluctant to reveal their status and many workers were also still hesitant to check their status.
“We still need to focus on the elimination of stigma and discrimination that can harm the success of the HIV self-screening programme. If the workers are still afraid to reveal their status, they will be denied of further treatment that they urgently need. Thus, we need to consider what kind of sanction that can be given to those who discriminate and what protection can be provided for those being discriminated,” she said.
The live streaming of the experience sharing can viewed on ILO TV Indonesia.