UNGASS-AIDS Forum Indonesia steps into High Gear

July 3, 2009

One of the quickest outcomes of the III UNGASS-AIDS Forum Indonesia, held in Jakarta on 28–30 May 2009, was the decision to establish a dialogue with the National AIDS Commission. The Forum was coordinated by JOTHI – Network of People Living with HIV. Fifteen civil society representatives discussed and agreed to:

(1) Significantly contribute to building up the country report in partnership with National AIDS Commission;

(2) Collect qualitative data and produce CS report on women’s sexual and reproductive health, advocating for its integration within the national report for UNGASS-AIDS 2010;

(3) Advocate National AIDS Commission for the Indonesian UNGASS Forum to lead the process of NCPI part B.

Rico Gustav addresses the UNGASS-AIDS Forum Indonesia.

Rico Gustav addresses the UNGASS-AIDS Forum Indonesia.

A request for a meeting has been submitted to National AIDS Commission, and the secretary of the commission herself has welcome the Indonesian UNGASS Forum. The meeting was held on 14 June 2009. The agenda of the meeting included:

(1) Introduction of the UNGASS Forum and its expanded members;

(2) Inform the NAC on the major points that the 3rd UNGASS-AIDS Forum has agreed on;

(3) Discuss strategies of which the Indonesian UNGASS Forum and National AIDS Commission can collaborate and coordinate in equal partnership, in the sense of monitoring country response to fulfill the Declaration of Commitment;

(4) Discuss challenges faced by UNGASS Forum and request National AIDS Commission’s assistance.

Results of the meeting with NAC

The NAC representatives, Mrs. Nafsiah and their person in charge on UNGASS Reporting, Mr. Kemal, supported the Indonesian Forum to make the UNGASS-AIDS concepts more down to earth so people in the grassroots level can understand and get familiarized with them. They also agreed to fund UNGASS-AIDS Forum Indonesia to lead the NCPI part B process. And possibly fund an UNGASS-AIDS Regional Forum at the ICAAP.

Furthermore, the Indonesian Forum constituency is developing the research framework based on the instruments and methodology Gestos that is being lead in the country by JOTHI. Besides investigating, the UNGASS-AIDS coalition is mostly responding to growing issues that are currently happening, and coordinating actions among members.

Additya Wardhana of JOTHI in the III UNGASS-AIDS Forum Indonesia

Aditya Wardhana of JOTHI at the III UNGASS-AIDS Forum, in Jakarta.

Just recently, there was information that one of the local government was going to issue a regulation that establishes that couples that are about to marry must be HIV free. This is a very urgent issue to advocate on. One more time, technocrats manage to violate human rights.

Meanwhile, Indonesia organized civil society also face a serious ARV shortage and the spread of disrespectful practices such as expired distribution of medicines. Aditya Wardhana, JOTHI coordinator for policy development and advocacy, said that giving patients just a few days’ supply of ARV was risky because the drug was handed out in unlabeled plastic bags that did not have expiration dates on them. “This is human lives we’re talking about,” he said. Just another way of showing in fact what numbers and statistics do not.