Maun is my name. I'm 22 years old and originally from a district in West Java. I am making a life in Bali. I was first acquainted with Bali Peduli when their workers came to my boarding house in Seminyak to provide information about free testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
After my friends and I were given an explanation of what STIs and HIV are and the importance of routine tests, we finally were willing to go the clinic. Although at first we were reluctant, fearful, with hope and anxiety about the test results, the worker managed to convince us about the confidentiality of results and free treatment if we needed it. This information was a great help for us from the boarding house, because HIV testing at a private lab is quite expensive.
I went to the clinic and had counseling and testing. My test result was positive. I felt very scared, scared to death and afraid of getting caught. I made sure that my roommates would not know my results. The Bali Peduli counselor reassured me about the confidentiality of test results, and then suggested I start ARV treatment, undergo the process of blood tests and chest X-ray before starting the medicine. All the processes went smoothly and I started ARVs the week after my first test at the clinic.
The first day I started taking medicine, I suffered some side effects. I had a headache and dizziness as well as nausea. It was hard to eat. I contacted the worker from Bali Peduli who explained that it is a common drug effect in some patients who start medication, and my body will adapt in a few days. I continued to take medication. A few days later, my whole body was red and itchy. A friend at the boarding house became suspicious and started asking about my condition. I did not dare tell him my status, because I was afraid my friends would ostracize me.
When I was in this condition, dizzy, weak and lying down, the roommate who helped take care of me, inadvertently found my medicine. They found out what my drugs were, perhaps via the internet. They had thought I had a severe disease because of the rash and it was hard to wake me because of dizziness. Eventually they found out I had HIV. Each one of them ran away from me and I was expelled from the boarding house.
The Bali Peduli outreach worker gave me accommodation. I boarded there for 3 days. I really salute the worker from Bali Peduli. He was not discouraged and applied for assistance from Bali Rainbow Positive Living Community and Bali Peduli as well. I was a little better after I found a new job in one of the Spas in Seminyak and was able to support myself. I am very grateful to Bali Peduli, which provided assistance through the hardest days of my life, when I wasn’t able to ask for help and was struggling to adapt to the treatment that I needed to live. Thanks Bali Peduli !!!
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