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Neglected conditions
P2-534 Cultural practices and beliefs of penis enlargement and implant in Papua, Indonesia
  1. A Oktavian1,
  2. W Diarsvitri2,3,
  3. I Dwisetyani3
  1. 1National Institute of Health Research and Development for Biomedicine, Papua Province, Indonesia, Jayapura, Indonesia
  2. 2Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Hang Tuah University, Surabaya, Indonesia
  3. 3Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


Papua Province has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia and in 2009, 94.4% cases were transmitted through heterosexual intercourse. High risk sexual behaviours, including multiple sex partners, early initiation of sexual activity, penis enlargement and implant, have been widely practiced among Papuan men. These practices have been passed from generation to generation through sexual culture and beliefs without understanding the health consequences that it might cause. The uses of “wrapping leaves”, such as Dendrocnide stimulans and Eurycoma longifolia, dried leech oil, tree sap or silicon injection, as well as implanting a metal or plastic subcutaneously to enhance the erect phallus are commonly found among Papuan men. The aim of this study was to explore various types of penis enlargement and implant, the extent and the reasons of the practice, health consequences and treatment seeking behaviour. We used qualitative method, including in-depth interview among men, their partners, medical and non-medical profession, as well as observation. The first author is a medical doctor stationed in Jayapura and has been documenting cases of penis enlargement and implant in his clinic.

Results Indicated that the practice is carried out in unhygienic condition. The practice was usually started in teenage years either by traditional healer, with a help from a friend or self. Almost all men who had penis enlargement or implant visited the doctor when they experienced severe inflammation, infection, penile tissue damage or other medical complication that hindered their reproductive function and made them more susceptible to HIV/AIDS and other STD infection.

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