Franciscan brother cares for those with HIV AIDS in Papua

When Dewi was diagnosed with HIV in 2009, her life became miserable.

“My family couldn’t accept my condition,” Dewi, not her real name, says in reference to the virus that affected her immune system.

Following her diagnosis, Dewi underwent medical treatment for two weeks in Jayapura diocese-run Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura, Papua province.

It was there that she met Franciscan Brother Agustinus Adi who works there as a nurse. He also manages a transitional house called for those living with HIV/AIDS, which Dewi ended up going to.

“After the hospital I went to the transitional house for further medical help and spent a whole month there,” she says.

Besides medication, Dewi also had regular psychological counseling at the transitional house.

“It helped me slowly re-embrace my family who struggled with my having HIV,” she says.

In early 2010, Dewi went back to her parents’ home but she will never forget what Brother Adi did for her.

“Brother Adi even gave me 1 million rupiah (US$ 110),” Dewi says.

“I used the money to start a small kiosk that I built in front of my parents’ house. There I began to sell basic necessities such as sugar, cooking oil, tea, coffee and soap,” she says.

One thing that Dewi, now 30, can still remember is the love shown to her at the transitional house.

“If I forget to collect medicines from the transitional house, Brother Adi calls me or texts me. The service is very good, full of love,” she says.

A whisper

Since it was established in August 2009, the transitional house has become a refuge for people living HIV/AIDS, particularly those neglected by their families.

Built on land provided by the diocese, the house has taken care of 350 such people. Of this number, 90 have past away, and the rest continue to take their medication. Continue reading



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