04 Oct Kerti Praja Foundation
The Kerti Praja Foundation (KPF) was established in 1992 and is one of the first non-government organizations in Indonesia to work with HIV-AIDS. KPF conducts outreach work with at-risk populations such as female sex workers, providing prevention education and condoms as well as encouraging them to come and seek testing in our free clinic. We also provide free STI/HIV screening for the local community including intravenous drug users and members of the LGBT population. Our education program is supported by DFAT and the Global Fund and although testing and treatment is free from the Indonesian government there is little access to funds in order to run programs that support the emotional and psycho-social needs of people living with HIV (PLWH) and the families that care for them or cover other clinical costs.
KPF serves PLWH (of all backgrounds and age groups), female sex workers (FSW), and their male clients. We provide voluntary, counseling and testing services for the general public as well as support other local NGOs through providing care, support, and treatment services and HIV testing. We assist pregnant HIV+ mothers with our “Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission” program and afterwards through providing supplements and powdered milk for the infants. We also provide a limited number of scholarships for primary school aged children living with HIV. We support over 500 HIV+ female sex workers and conduct outreach work with these communities using former FSW as peer educators. In addition, the Kerti Praja Foundation runs a livelihoods project, relief sewing project, that provides vocational opportunities for underprivileged PLWH.
Bali currently has one of the highest HIV burdens in the nation. This exponential growth is facilitated by a lack of awareness about transmission modes, gender disparity and the unfortunate stigma that is often attendant to those living with HIV. Although there is a paucity of concrete data, it is estimated that there are currently more than 8000 PLWH on the island, which is an enormous increase from 4041 in the year 2007. The majority of PLWH are from already marginalized communities, such transgender and female sex workers and their male clients, but current trends suggest that the epidemic may shift from a concentrated one (that is, restricted to ‘high risk’ communities) to a generalized epidemic with increasing numbers of housewives and their children being affected. Recent estimates show that approximately 60,000 women in Bali are potentially vulnerable to HIV infection through the unsafe behaviors of their male partners.
The Kerti Praja Foundation views HIV-AIDS as a holistic concern, not just as a biomedical one. Our work is inclusive, incorporating: prevention: to reduce risk of new HIV infections; positive living: to enable people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives; treatment support: to enable people to access treatment, and to take it properly and impact mitigation: to prevent or reduce negative social and economic effects on PLWH and their family members.
Stigma and discrimination of PLWH in Bali is an enormous concern. Regularly our organization and partner organizations receive case reports of HIV-related discrimination and the ostracisation of PLWH and their family members/partners. There are very few avenues for PLWH to receive emotional support and knowledge on how to maintain a high quality of life with HIV. Further problematizing the situation, the majority of PLWH in Bali come from underprivileged backgrounds, distanced from urban centers and have limited vocational opportunities to support themselves and their families. HIV affects the livelihoods of individuals, households and communities. It commonly undermines the ability of individuals and households to support themselves.
On the 3rd of September 2013, Desa Seni held a fundraising event to help raise awareness and money for the Kerti Praja Foundation’s clinic, Clinic Amerta and their beneficiaries. The event was a huge success and raised over IDR 58, 492, 400. Funds were used to help the local community, MSM and TG community members, intravenous drug users, female sex workers, mothers, fathers, children – anyone who required free assistance relating to HIV-AIDS and STI from our clinic. The Clinic Amerta relies solely on external funding support and on behalf of our program beneficiaries is extremely grateful for the funds accumulated during this event at Desa Seni, and pledge for future fundraising support.
Om shanti shanti shanti om.