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GCWA: Baby Rivona joins the GCWA advisory group

03 Mar, 2013

Baby  is co-founder and coordinator of national Indonesian Positive Women Network (IPPI). IPPI works to fight against discrimination, the elimination of gender-based violence and  for rights for women living with HIV, including by providing support and space for women who are infected with HIV and effected to by AIDS speak out and get justice. Baby Rivona who was involved in the workshop/training in Indonesia for women living with HIV to engage with CEDAW, will share lessons learned and challenges 

Statement: I am a woman living with HIV, and co-founder and coordinator of IPPI. IPPI is a network that works to fight against discrimination, the elimination of gender-based violence and rights for women living with HIV. One activity is to provide support and space for women who are living with, and affected by, HIV to speak out and get justice.

I am convinced and believe that in my struggle I will have a tough challenge because HIV is still considered a disease that must be destroyed. Therefore the patients are not helped to get rid of it.  Patients' rights as human beings and a sense of fairness is not met. If the patient is female, then the victim will experience discrimination both as a woman, and a person living with HIV. Therefore, it is often the case that women living with HIV experience gender violence by their family, community and country. This condition makes women living with HIV remain silent and live in darkness. Such a situation encourages me to fight alongside women living with HIV, fighting for our rights, justice and eliminating discrimination and violence. We want to break the chains of injustice against women living with HIV.

The belief in my soul for this struggle is a reflection of my personal experience as an woman living with HIV and how I had to fight without the support, and suffer violence and discrimination. I was working as migrant worker during 2002 until 2003, that’s when I was got deported because of my HIV status. I got HIV trough injecting drugs. After that I was started to get involved in HIV issues in 2005 with the establishment of a women's support group in Medan-North Sumatera, Indonesia and continue  in 2006 the establishment of another  organization named Medan Aceh Partnerships (MAP) in Aceh Province, Indonesia for AIDS response after the tsunami .