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.