Reflection On Aids


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Reflection On Aids

  1. 1. Although AIDS had been around for twenty one years, the government’s effort to fight it began at the 90’s. But the real serious effort never starts until 2006 after the Sentani commitment signed between governors and ministers.<br />At that moment AIDS spreading already advanced to most provinces in Indonesia and affecting innocent house wives and babies. The core issue why our health policy can’t control or at least slowed the spreading is about strategic environment. Indonesia is one unique country, with certain characteristic that influenced how we live our life. Every policy maker should consider those characteristic if they want to reach the goal without too much problems. Many health policies about AIDS didn’t touch those special characteristic that usually called, strategic environment.<br />Indonesian ideology never changed since its independence, which is Pancasila. Indonesian people are proud of their religious identity, captured by article one of Pancasila. But on higher dose, too much proud makes them difficult to see beneath the surface. Activities such as outreaching sex workers, wide distribution for condoms, and sex education for teenagers were forbidden and labeled “haram”. After too long time, department of religious affairs finally join the fight. Their efforts including making templates for religious preaches that encouraging people to fight AIDS and working together with department of welfare to train head figures of all religion in Indonesia. Better be late than never. <br />For the second article, Pancasila mention about humanity. There are many problems related to humanity when dealing with AIDS. One of neglected area is press release about people with AIDS. Most of media, especially local one, releasing news or information related AIDS only when it bombastic and full of sensations. They reveal a person’s HIV status without considering how that influenced on his/her later life in society. The other is about stigma and discrimination. Regardless so many activity, program and NGOs dedicated to it, stigma and discrimination still suffered by people with AIDS. Not only come from common society, our health workers sometimes had it too. Various ways of socialization and different kind of trainings have been done to reduce it. <br />The obstacle is, Pancasila no longer be the soul of Indonesian life. Many teenagers and children no longer remember or even know about Pancasila. The elder generation also contribute to it, they seemed to forget about it after the reformation. Moral lesson didn’t get much attention in modern family rather than science or art. That’s why stigma always there.<br />Justice for all mentioned in article five, but there is no such thing as justice or fairness when facing AIDS cases. One of justice act for AIDS patient is when we help them without revealing their status to society, sometimes even to their spouse. But that manners will ruin justice value from the spouse point of view, making the spouse as sitting ducks, vulnerable being infected by AIDS. The same thing happens when people with AIDS want to have a child. Is it fair from the child point of view? There are no policy regulate those ethical issue yet. <br />Indonesia has distinctive political system, where the most popular wins (not the most qualified) and government policy can be changed due to several group of interest (not the citizen). Asking for real commitment from local government, especially at rural area is not easy. Add decentralization to it, the result is disparity among Indonesian provinces. Every head county has its own kingdom, quite hard to penetrate them and make them see that HIV/AIDS need to get prioritized. The central government political commitments to fight AIDS are also a little too late. Only when it already becomes pandemic, rules and guidance started to be made. Internal funding still relatively small, compared from external.<br />From economic point of view, AIDS pandemic around the world including Indonesia cost money enormously. It spread mostly on young adult, who supposed to be the productive one. The big burden to treat AIDS patient at hospital in the future can broke a country. Anti retro viral drugs, the only drugs that can slow down the death pathway are still imported. And the money used to pay it mostly from debt. Indonesia is hanging on spider web of consist of loans and grant to deal AIDS. Why don’t we try to make our own drugs? Pharmaceutical industries in Indonesia are quite excellent and have the ability also resources for it.<br />The next strategic environments are social and cultural. Another Indonesian characteristic is its diversity. So many cultural and social values come with various responds and habits throughout the country. Most of AIDS program executions were ala WHO or other international funding agencies’ certain style. They are not always suitable or match the target in Indonesia. <br />For example Papua, the province now crowned the highest AIDS prevalence. Among 100.000 people living in Papua, 124 have AIDS. Since long time ago, Papua’s culture closely related to sexual intercourse activity. They have friendship intercourse, and most of them become sexual active at early age with many partners. The country leader should see it from early years of AIDS spreading. They should predict that Papua will have the highest AIDS prevalence if there no early intervention. So they would plan and making policies about AIDS in Papua much earlier than the other province. But the fact is it started late on 2006, same time with other province. <br />As an archipelago and nation with diversity Indonesia has to have excellent defense. That means defense against physical threat and the intangible ones. AIDS pandemic is physical threat. If most of our young generation died on AIDS, we have an empty country! Intangible threat related to AIDS including our heavy dependency to external funding, antiretroviral drugs’ availability and HIV research. Even with only those three aspects, we can collapse as a country if they were shut downed. That means we should worry for the dependency.<br />As we step out to the year of 2009, its time for all Indonesian to think deeply on AIDS problems. Everyone should help our government to see so many little but valid aspect in fighting against AIDS that were missed before. Cultural and social value inputs are welcome to adjust original program become more acceptable in different province. Close relationship among head figure of every religion very important to encourage each of their members, doing real thing such as using condoms to fight AIDS. In order to establish strong basic knowledge for our youngest generation high quality sex education must applied since early age. So we can hope that they will able to make wise choice than the current ones. <br />