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Cult Health Sex. 2012;14(5):491-503. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2012.671960. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Boyfriends and injecting: the role of intimate male partners in the life of women who inject drugs in Central Java.

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Centre for Tropical Medicine - Research Collaboration Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


The international literature shows that HIV-risk behaviour for women mostly occurs in the context of intimate relationships. Power imbalances in the social, economic and cultural spheres put women at risk. This paper addresses the roles of male partners in women's engagement in drug-use behaviour and drug-related HIV-risk behaviour in Indonesia. Data were gathered through in-depth interviews with 19 women who had injected drugs in the previous month in three sites in central Java. Most of the women had male partners who also injected drugs. Results show that male partners play a significant role in the initiation of drug use, the provision of drugs, injecting behaviour and in the constitution of women injectors' social networks. These findings suggest the need to develop couple-based interventions and to facilitate women-only groups as part of HIV prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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