Indonesian HIV advocate, Baby Rivona

The International Aids Conference 2012 to be held in Washington, D.C. from 22 to 27 July, is bringing together activists and experts from around the world to shape the global response to HIV/AIDS.

Stigma, gender based violence and discrimination continue to fuel the HIV/AIDS pandemic, increasing the risk of violence and HIV infection for women and girls, and reducing their access to resources and services.

Baby Rivona has advocated passionately on behalf of women living with HIV and AIDS in Indonesia since 2005. She contracted the disease herself through drug use, and was shocked by the stigma and the lack of support she encountered, from both her government and wider society.

Moved to action and advocacy by the plight of HIV-positive women in tsunami-affected areas of Aceh Province, she later co-founded the Indonesian Positive Women Network (IPPI), which works to eliminate gender-based discrimination and secure rights for women living with HIV. As a recent mother of an HIV-negative child, she also works to increase understanding and reduce risk in the field of Parent-to-Child Transmission.

Rivona spoke with UN Women on her way to the International Aids Conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C. from 22 to 27 July. Underlining the links between HIV and violence, particularly relating to coerced sterilization in Indonesia, she stresses that the two issues must be better integrated in state-led support services, rather than addressed separately.

Interview with Indonesian HIV advocate Baby Rivona

An HIV-positive advocate and leader of an Indonesian women’s network, Baby Rivona speaks about her organization’s research on HIV and violence, including coerced sterilization. She stresses that the two issues need to be integrated in support services, rather than addressed separately.

Rivona, who co-founded and runs Indonesian Positive Women Network, spoke with UN Women on her way to the International Aids Conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C. from 22 to 27 July. Underlining the links between HIV and violence, particularly relating to coerced sterilization in Indonesia, she stresses that the two issues must be better integrated in state-led support services, rather than addressed separately.

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