Tuesday, May 5, 2015Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Singaporean men practising risky sex in Batam: Study

Migrant welfare group finds just one in four use condoms

Published on Sep 24, 2012 10:23 AM
Sex workers from entertainment joints being trained by staff from Batam non-governmental groups Yayasan Lintas Nusa and Yayasan Komunikasi Informasi Edukasi Batam on practising safe sex. The latest available figures show about 9 per cent of Batam's sex workers are HIV-positive. -- PHOTO: BATAM HIV AIDS COMMISSION

About 60 per cent of sex workers in Batam have Singaporean clients, and only one in four of these clients use condoms regularly.

These are some of the key findings in a recent study by migrant welfare group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home) and non-governmental organisations in Batam.

Ms Bridget Tan, president of Home, said the main aim of the study was to look into the practising of safe sex among Batam's sex workers, and how that data could help shed light on cross-border human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in Singapore.

"There is nothing new about Singaporeans going to Batam for sex, but now we know the magnitude of the potential HIV problem that involves Singaporeans; before we did not know much about their numbers or their condom use," she said.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!

Background story

Studies have shown that lower condom use among Singaporeans abroad is mainly because sex workers abroad are less likely to initiate condom use.

- Mr Donovan Lo, executive director of Action for Aids