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A positive approach to violence: Interview with Indonesian HIV advocate Baby Rivona and Kenyan activist Nduku Kilonzo
The International Aids Conference 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, an HIV-positive advocate and leader of an Indonesian women’s network, and Nduku Kilonzo, Executive Director of an indigenous Kenyan organization that works with women survivors of violence and HIV prevention, spoke to UN Women about the issue.
Baby Rivona, Indonesia
An HIV-positive advocate and leader of an Indonesian women’s network, Baby Rivona speaks to UN Women about her organization’s research on HIV and violence, including coerced sterilization. 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 while working as a migrant worker, and was shocked by the stigma and the lack of support she encountered, from both her government and wider society.
Moved to action by the plight of HIV-positive women in tsunami-affected areas of Aceh Province, she co-founded the Indonesian Positive Women Network (IPPI), which works to eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence 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.
In this video, Rivona underlines the links between HIV and violence, particularly relating to coerced sterilization in Indonesia, and stresses that the two issues must be better integrated in state-led support services, rather than addressed separately.
Nduku Kilonzo, Kenya
Nduku Kilonzo is the Executive Director of Liverpool VCT, an indigenous Kenyan organization that provides HIV prevention and treatment services in the region, including for women survivors of violence. As she observes here, women who experience sexual violence are likely to be HIV infected, while women who experience other forms of violence are likely to be predisposed to risky behavior, or to be unable to negotiate their HIV risk. Listen to her speak about her organization’s influential work on post-rape care services, as well as their adolescent programme, which involves East Africa’s largest counseling hotline with a focus on youth, for psychosocial and information support on health and reproductive issues.