TestXXX, APCOM’s city-based HIV testing campaign that was piloted in Bangkok (TestBKK) and has expanded to Ho Chi Minh City (TestSGN) and Manila (TestMNL) has once again spread its wings to a new city: Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, under the name of TestJKT.
Under the supervision of APCOM, TestJKT is led by the national secretariat team of GWL INA (Jaringan Gaya Warna Lentera Indonesia), one of the country’s leading networks of community organisations working for human rights and the sexual health of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals.
TestJKT was exclusively launched by GWL-INA and their partners in a whole-day event called “Save One Life”, on Sunday, 3 September, in Centre Spot of Atrium Plaza in Jakarta. Along with the unveiling of TestJKT’s website and social media presence, the event was packed with a K-Pop dance competition, men’s fashion show, a dance number by Asia’s Got Talent semifinalists and singing performances by two Indonesian Idol stars. Confidential, quick and easy rapid HIV testing was also present throughout the whole event. Indonesian Idol star Igo Pentury are among the 60 people who took the test during the event.
from top left (clockwise): (1) APCOM Deputy Director Ryan Figueiredo (middle) with TestJKT volunteers, (2) Asia’s Got Talent’s dance crew performance, (3) Indonesian Idol Igo Pentury taking the test after singing his heart out on the stage, (4) balloon release officiating the launching of TestJKT, (5) an avant-garde fashion from the men’s fashion show
Embarking with the “Fun. Love. Test. Repeat” slogan, TestJKT aims to increase the uptake of HIV testing among MSM in Jakarta. The HIV prevalence among MSM in Jakarta is the highest recorded city-scale MSM prevalence in the Asia-Pacific region – 32 per cent, as shown by the most recent data from UNAIDS Data Hub. Almost one in every three MSM in Jakarta is living with HIV. While the data of HIV testing coverage of MSM in Jakarta is lacking, the same data source indicates that HIV testing coverage of MSM in Indonesia only accounts for 54 per cent.
HIV prevalence among MSM in Jakarta is the highest recorded city-scale MSM prevalence in the Asia-Pacific region
Funded by Elton John AIDS Foundation, APCOM’s TestXXX initiative understands that ensuring a developmental approach to providing and promoting HIV services signifies the importance of life phase or age in understanding a person’s attitude towards and likelihood to engage in risky behaviours and to access HIV services. This means, first and foremost, TestJKT focuses on reducing the incidence of HIV among a young cohort of the MSM population – just like its TestXXX predecessors.
Young MSM in an urban setting like Jakarta live a significant part of their lives online – including to find sexual partners. Accordingly, TestJKT is set to deliver online outreach that will complement the existing offline interventions to encourage young MSM to get regularly tested at any of TestJKT’s seven (7) gay-friendly or gay-exclusive clinic partners across the city. Clients who test positive for HIV are then encouraged by the clinics to start treatment, as being on treatment significantly reduces the likelihood of them passing on HIV.
Following its launch, TestJKT is more than ready to replicate TestBKK’s success on blending creativity, technology, innovation and community involvement to change the attitude and behaviour of young MSM towards their sexual health. New online interventions, as well as exclusive outreach at key events, are expected to come. As a start, TestJKT’s website, which is available for both speakers of Indonesian and English languages, comes with a compact and mobile-friendly user interface that intuitively guides its viewers to navigate where to get tested, how to remain HIV negative and how to live a healthy life if tested positive.
“APCOM would like to thank the Elton John AIDS Foundation for sharing the ‘getting to zero’ vision, and more importantly for their dedication to communities in Asia. APCOM’s partnership with EJAF and GWL-INA not only promotes innovative HIV testing campaigns, but also empowers communities to take ownership and lead the response. Having more cities involved in our TestXXX initiative will ensure consistent HIV information and messaging across major urban cities in the region,” said APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana.
“GWL-INA is pleased to be working with APCOM and our partners on advancing HIV advocacy with TestJKT,” said GWL-INA Executive Director Meilandi Panca Wardhana. “HIV is a huge issue for MSM in Indonesia, and initiatives like TestJKT play a vital role in educating and motivating vulnerable populations like young MSM. It was great seeing so many community members coming together to celebrate the launch of TestJKT and hear important messages of testing for HIV and knowing their status.”
APCOM is continuing to develop more collaborations with community organisations with the aim of rolling out TestXXX in more cities in Asia. Learn more about TestXXX at apcom.org/TestXXX
For more information and media enquiries regarding TestJKT, kindly contact GWL-INA via Adi Nugroho, TestJKT Campaign Coordinator | [email protected]