Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oz awards Indonesian bloggers for AIDS awareness

LOCAL bloggers were recognized in a competition organized by the Australian Government Aid Program (AusAID) to commemorate World AIDS Day in the spirit of raising awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Indonesia.

World AIDS Day is observed on Dec. 1 every year.

Themed “Youth and HIV”, the competition attracted more than 200 bloggers who wrote about their own experiences and opinions on HIV/AIDS, exposing Indonesia’s thriving online community to youth-generated information about HIV/AIDS.

Bloggers Lingga Tri Utama, Zulvina Anom and Siswanto ( claimed the first, second and third spots in the competition. They were awarded prizes including a MacBook Air computer, camera and Smartphone.

One of the top-10 finalists, 27-year-old Januarti Sururi from Jakarta, wrote about a 17-year-old HIV patient she attended to for two months when she was a medical student at Diponegoro University in Semarang.

(JP/Xinyan Yu
"I felt really sad. I saw the boy to take his blood pressure and talked to him every day, but he eventually died. The young boy had HIV/AIDS from his first and only sexual contact with a prostitute,” said Januarti.

The second-place winner Zulvina Anom from Mojokerto, East Java, wrote about healthcare facilities in Surabaya when she worked at a NGO called Paramitra dedicated to HIV/AIDS education.

“We accompanied many HIV patients, mostly sex workers. We tried to find a way for them to earn a living within their profession but safely.”

Another finalist Rizky Ashar is only 19 years old. As a sophomore from Surabaya studying Information Technology at Brawijaya University in Malang, Rizky went on field trips with the support of TEGAZS, a student group committed to helping HIV/AIDS patients, to study the sex industry in Bali.

Indonesia has more than 300,000 HIV/AIDS patients, and it has one of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in Southeast Asia.

Paul Robilliard, the Australian Deputy Head of Mission to Indonesia, said: “Among the people living with HIV in Indonesia, 25 percent are women. This includes concentrated epidemics among sex workers and injecting drug users and an epidemic in the general population of Papua and West Papua.”

“Social media is very influential across the country. We added a human element to our programs this time,” Matt Kimberley, the Operations Chief of AusAID added.

Sumber: The Jakarta Post

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