World AIDS Day is celebrated every year on December 1 since 1988. This commemoration day aims to increase public education and awareness of the worldwide AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV) or through sharing injection needles, for example, for the use of drugs. AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus (HIV.gov, 2022).
In Indonesia, there are an estimated 640.443 persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in Indonesia with 49.000-50.000 new HIV infection cases in 2019. The Ministry of Health reported 377.564 cases in 2019, with 86,5 percent of the cases in the productive ages. People living with HIV mainly experience stigma and discrimination that affect to get unequal rights and opportunities to employment (work or to continue working). Limited HIV/AIDS knowledge leads to an insufficient understanding of HIV spread and prevention, which affects stigma and discrimination (ILO, 2022).
Based on this data, Westerlaken Foundation – Yayasan Bali Bersih, together with Bali Kids supported by the NEBA Foundation and Wilde Ganzen Foundation, has conducted a mobile clinic program for dozens of schools in Bali since 2021. This program aims to educate young people in all districts in Bali regarding the prevention of transmission of the HIV virus and treatment in case of contracting AIDS. As of today, we have conducted socialization to 4.044 children and health checks to 2.051 children.
Westerlaken Foundation – Yayasan Bali Bersih remains committed to running this program to increase public education and awareness, especially among children in Bali, regarding preventing the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus. This program is expected to be able to stop the increase in the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS, especially in Indonesia, to improve the quality of life for each individual.
HIV.gov. 2022. What Are HIV and AIDS?. https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/about-hiv-and-aids/what-are-hiv-and-aids (12/1/22).
International Labour Organization. 2022. HIV/AIDS Programme in the World of Work in Indonesia. https://www.ilo.org/jakarta/whatwedo/projects/WCMS_737618/lang--en/index.htm (12/1/22).