HIV, STIs and risk behaviour in Dili, East Timor, 2003

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Pisani, E, Purnomo, H, Sutrisna, A, Asy, A, Zaw, M, Bull, H, Tilman, C and Neilsen, G. 2009. HIV, STIs and risk behaviour in Dili, East Timor, 2003. [Online]. Harvard Dataverse. Available from: -

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East Timor is a newly independent, poor nation with many internally displaced people and foreign peace keeping forces. Similarities with Cambodia, which now has Asia’s worst HIV epidemic, caused donors to earmark money for HIV prevention in East Timor, but no data were available to plan appropriate programmes. Objectives: To determine levels of infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and associated risk behaviours in Dili, East Timor, in order to guide resource allocation and appropriate prevention and care strategies. Methods: In mid-2003, a cross sectional survey of female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), taxi drivers, and soldiers was conducted. Participants provided biological specimens and all answered structured questionnaires. Results: HIV prevalen ce was 3% among female sex workers (3/100), 0.9% among MSM (1/110), and zero in the other groups. All the HIV infected sex workers reported sex with foreign clients. Partner turnover reported by all groups was among the lowest in Asia, so was condom use. Access to basic HIV prevention services, including condoms and STI services, was extremely low in all groups. Conclusions: A few sex workers are infected with HIV in East Timor, but the virus is not circulating widely among their clients, and sexual networking is limited. The risk of a generalised HIV epidemic in East Timor is minimal. HIV can be contained by the provision of basic services to the small minority of the population at highest risk, preserving resources for other health and development needs.

Alternative title (e.g. non-English): A study of sexual and drug-taking behaviour among gay men, sex workers and client groups
Published in a 3rd party system Date: 23 July 2009
Data capture method:
Mode of data capture
Questionnaire: Fixed form - Paper
Data Creators(s): Pisani, E, Purnomo, H, Sutrisna, A, Asy, A, Zaw, M, Bull, H, Tilman, C and Neilsen, G
LSHTM Faculty/Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Participating Institutions: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom


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