Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua HIV-AIDS Projects

    Bali, so called Island of the Gods, is not only popular tourist destination, it is home to Indonesians from across the archipelago and thousands of expatriates who visit and stay to build a life on the island. Unfortunately it is also home to one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in Asia. According to latest projections the epidemic is growing faster in Asia than Africa:

The epidemic in Indonesia is unique and challenging for many reasons and fueled by:

  • Risk behaviours that continue to go unaddressed.
  • A clandestine sex work industry, where unsafe sex and low condom use remains an issue.
  • High level of unsafe needle practices in intravenous drug use communities.
  • Concurrent and multiple sexual relationships, in combination with a traditional of extra/pre marital sex.
  • Increasingly complex economic and social problems.
  • Persisting gender disparity that endangers women, particularly married women.
  • Vulnerable communities ostracized by society.
  • Little intervention for HIV + mothers wanting healthy babies.
  • Underprivileged elements of society that continue to be affected.
  • Orphaned children and widowed mothers owing to HIV-AIDS.
  • Stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV-AIDS who need spiritual and mental support.

Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua is working closely with the NGO Kerti Praja Foundation to address sexual and reproductive health concerns within the general public as well as in the most at risk communities such as female sex workers and high risk men. Kerti Praja outreach workers are specially trained in HIV/STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) prevention communication techniques and our clinic staff are specialized in STI screening and treatment as well as in ARV treatment education, opportunistic Infections and ARV side effects, providing from health care services.

Activities to date have included:

  • Workshops to train midwives on HIV prevention, particularly from mother to child. The pilot project of 20 midwifes was so successful and well received that it has become an ongoing program with date more than 130 midwives across Bali trained.
  • Providing breast milk substitute to babies born to HIV mothers to reduce the incidence of infection to the babies.
  • Scholarships for HIV positive children from challenged socio-economic backgrounds in order to ensure that they have access to schooling.
  • Conducting outreach activities to sex work sites, educating these communities about prevention.
  • Income generating programs for HIV+ women that help these women become financially independent and able to support themselves and their dependents.
  • Social and mental support with the overarching view to improve their quality of life

Ari Murti, a founding (charter) member of the RCBND and author of ”Outcast”, a book on sex trade HIV-AIDS in Indonesia, heads up the club’s HIV-AIDS initiatives. Her dedication, commitment, and tireless work to improve the lot of the underprivileged is inspiring.

Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua is inviting all interested parties to join us in the desperate fight against HIV-AIDS. As global citizens it is our responsibility to ensure that the goals of the MDGS are met by 2015 and that the next generations are well educated, empowered to make to right decisions about their bodies and mind, and are given opportunity to achieve the life that they aspire to.
We ask for assistance in achieving our goals of:

  1. Providing life saving powdered milk for potentially HIV+ infants
  2. Training counselors who will play a vital role in early case detection
  3. Ensuring the provision of sustainable and comprehensive health care services for people living with HIV-AIDS and their families through supporting local NGO-run clinics

We believe that Rotary can be a light at the end of the tunnel and voice of hope for those that have none.