World AIDS Day 2021

JAKARTA (BPN) – Commemorating World AIDS Day 2021, together with Sensitive VIVO held a discussion highlighting the long journey to fulfill inclusive sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) to reduce the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia.

The discussion, which was held on December 1, 2021, virtually, and presented four speakers; Putri Widi, dr., MSc., a doctor and researcher as well as gender equality and global health activist, Devi Asmarani, as Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Magdalene, an online media with a gender perspective, Ni Putu Candra, a human rights lawyer who is also the founder of Bumi Setara, and Nissi Taruli Felicia, founder of the Deaf feminist group FeminisThemis.

The discussion began with Devi Asmarani’s explanation of the inequality in the implementation of sex education in Indonesia which she observed with the Magdalene team.

“Inequality in fulfilling SRHR in Indonesia still occurs due to discussions about sex education in society which are often considered taboo. Materials that focus on sexuality, consent, and other issues, such as gender relations are still very minimal because at the level of policymakers there is no courage to implement a formal curriculum for comprehensive sexuality education, given the high perception that links sexuality with morality,” said Devi.

Nissi Taruli Felicia stated that she and the Deaf feminist group FeminisThemis were witnesses to how efforts to handle and prevent HIV/AIDS that were not inclusive and accessible had an impact on people with disabilities in Indonesia.

“There are still many people with disabilities who don’t get education about sexuality, so they don’t get their understanding of basic things, such as understanding terms about sexuality. Lack of knowledge also often results in persons with disabilities becoming victims of sexual violence. According to our research last year, Deaf friends’ misconceptions about HIV/AIDS are still very high. Of the 85 people we surveyed, only about 30% know about AIDS,” said Nissi.

So far, there have been efforts from various groups to bridge the gap in the fulfillment of SRHR for people with disabilities, although it’s still not enough and not yet well-structured, as stated by Ni Putu Candra.

Putri Widi added that the unequal sex education plus the lack of access to health facilities were also one of the factors driving the continued increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases in this country.

“The first thing the government and all of us can do is acknowledge the gap. After that, concrete steps were taken to fulfill SRHR for everyone, aka inclusive. To be truly inclusive, it must involve those who are marginalized or even disadvantaged by the system, for example, people with disabilities,” he said.

From this discussion, it can be concluded that the mission of realizing Indonesia without HIV/AIDS 2030 as proclaimed by the Indonesian government can be realized if all parties participate in fulfilling sexual and reproductive health rights for every individual.

This is in line with the United Nations sustainable development principle, namely Leave No One Behind, which requires that all levels of society are not left behind in an inclusive and participatory development process.

As a social startup that focuses on issues of equality, health, education, and the environment, is committed to continuing to work with various community groups, organizations, and business people to be part of the solution to various social problems.

In this HIV/AIDS issue, for example, facilitates the Raja Youth Center Jambi organization to hold a social campaign “I Know and I Stay Away from the Virus” through the Campaign #ForChange application.

This campaign invites the public to solve challenges by uploading photos or videos containing information about HIV/AIDS education and sexual health.

For every challenge that is successfully completed, Sensitive VIVO as a sponsor will convert it into a donation of IDR 25,000 with a target of donation of IDR 8,000,000 which will be channeled to educational activities about HIV/AIDS for young people.

To support this social campaign, simply download the Campaign #ForChange app on the App Store or Play Store and search for the “I Know and I Stay Away from the Virus” Challenge, then complete the challenge. This campaign has just launched and will run until the end of January 2022.

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