Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dawn Unfogging Stigma

Vincit qui patitur. Scars that word is embedded in the arm Fajar Jasmin (35) since a year ago. Tattoo that caught my eyes as Dawn opened the door of his house in Kelapa Gading, Jakarta, last week. Owner's hands were thin. However, fresh white face, smiling.

Who dare to suffer going to win. It reminds me to keep dare and survive, "said Dawn glanced incision in his arm. Last week, in Washington DC, United States, the International AIDS Conference is underway to-19.

His wife, Flora Leonnie (35), come sit with Dawn in the living room all-white minimalist design. The Latin maxim manifests in the couple's life when Dawn found infected with HIV / AIDS.

Their world was changed five years ago. Dawn severe diarrhea for two weeks. He was forced to stop working as a copy writer in an advertising company. Doctors do not have problems with digestion Dawn. He then suggested an HIV test. February 2008, Dawn confirmed infected with HIV.

"At that time, the immediate thought was the son and wife," said Dawn. She married Leonnie 2004. They have three children aged 7 years, 6 years and 4.5 years. The new dawn relieved to know that the test results wives and children of HIV negative.

Leonnie original shock with her test results. However, bachelor of fine arts was not buried grief.


From the beginning, the couple decided to open with HIV positive status Dawn. They then collect the next of kin. "During the meeting, Dawn explains her condition. His mother wept at the news, "said Leonnie.

There are relatives who asked, "I used to share a glass with you, it's okay?" Dawn excuse. "I explain, HIV is not spread by sharing cups, exchange clothes, or just staying in the same place," said Dawn.

Dawn also explained to her extended family that HIV transmission occurred, among others, by having sex without a condom, use of shared razors, transfusion with infected blood, and the use of needles or sharp instruments are not sterile.

HIV cases in Indonesia since 1987 and heavily promoted. However, understanding and acceptance of people with HIV / AIDS stigma is often shrouded in fog. People pull back story, what is done in the past to someone infected with HIV. In fact, it is better to give chance the person checked out, treated, and live responsibly to not pass on to others.

Dawn did not cover the status of co-workers. He returned to work after 1.5 years of restoring health. Now, Dawn became editor-in-chief of Climate Carbon media, registered as a member of the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia for the Negotiations on Climate Change United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010, and worked in the Presidential Work Unit of Supervision and Control of Development.

"I was fortunate to receive co-workers. The two men came to ask, I was glad, "said the psychology graduate. That's different from the stories he heard when gathered with others who are infected with HIV. They generally been rejected in the workplace, the environment, even by medical personnel.

However, the course is not always smooth. Dawn openness backfired when registering their children to private elementary schools last year. School was canceled due to objections received from a number of his parents.

Ironically, the rejection was proper on World AIDS Day which falls every December 1. "They asked for the test results as proof of my child is not infected. It's the same with discrimination. My child is HIV negative. Positive children were not allowed to be rejected, "said Dawn.

Dawn argues, it is better to know the status of the school and there is no guarantee there is no discrimination in the future.

Dawn openness will create a dialogue in their children's school community. Had held workshops with HIV / AIDS in the school. A painful process that ultimately sweet fruit. Allowed his son was educated at the school.

"If people with HIV continues to shut down, the situation will not be completed," he said. They lose a life not only because of illness, but rather a result of social pressure. People will be reluctant to check status and unknowingly transmit HIV. In fact, until now the stigma is not easily removed, even by the start of antiretroviral treatment changed the course of HIV / AIDS.

Last long

Provision of antiretroviral drugs to government programs since 2004. A total of 25 817 people in Indonesia have been getting treatment until early 2012.

Prof Samsuridjal Djauzi of HIV Integrated Services Unit Cipto Mangunkusumo / Faculty of Medicine, said antiretroviral drugs to prevent viral replication was not detected in the blood. Obstructed the course of disease and decreased mortality. Even with tight control physician, partner with HIV who desire offspring can give birth to healthy children.

"People with HIV who seek treatment and health care are very likely live to be old. There is a healthy life for 18 years with antiretroviral drugs, "said Samsuridjal.

Now, HIV is increasingly controlled by antiretroviral drugs. "This disorder is to be like other chronic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes, who need to take medicine on a regular basis," said Janto Linga, mentor the clinical management of HIV from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is also the former Chairman of the Working Group, HIV / AIDS at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases Sulianti Saroso. The difference, antiretroviral drugs do not cure, and sufferers can still transmit HIV.

Dawn started using evapiren and Combivir in 2009. The medication is taken every 12 hours. So as not to forget, Dawn install an alarm on his cell phone. Once a month he consulted to Cipto Mangunkusumo, taking medications, and check the amount of virus.

He keeps Leonnie not infected. "Although the virus was not detected in the blood, I always use a condom during intercourse," he said.

Leonnie was diligent testing every six months. "To this day I am negative," he said.

Leonnie determined to stay healthy and rational face of HIV in the family. Moreover, the children need attention. Already a month Leonnie quit her job at a foundation and now the food business.

Starting from the allergenic baking without gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar to his eldest son, is now accepting orders Leonnie that particular food. That afternoon, the living room of their home which functioned as a "factory" filled with fragrant chocolate cupcakes.

Dawn was no less excited. He tried to live a regular basis, ranging from eating, resting, and exercise. Health care is important for other infectious diseases do not appear in the body of people with HIV, given their compromised immune system.

"I want to be a good father to my children many years from now," said Dawn.


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