Indonesia Study Group
Date & time
This project draws on material from a National Library of Australia Asia Study Grant-funded project on community memory and epidemiological histories of HIV. It addresses the period from the first official health responses to early cases identified in the 1990s to the present day, when an estimated 640,000 people are living with HIV. It draws on Indonesian-language policy documents, activist accounts, medical surveys, media sources and development archives into conversation with ongoing research on community memories of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia. In particular, I elaborate the political entanglement between HIV/AIDS and political organising among some of the gender and sexual minorities most affected by the epidemic. I argue that the history of HIV/AIDS offers an important lens on broader processes of a discourse of transparency that permeates the era of democratic reform since 1998. In particular, it helps to track the emergence of discourses of morality and their transformation into surveillance from the end of the New Order. Perhaps more importantly, the history of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia – as is the case in other parts of the world – highlights impressive forms of community/government/expert engagement mobilised at the intersection of a concern for public health and human rights.