I am Reni Purwoningsih, from Banyuwangi, East Java.  
I am 31 years old.  I am HIV positive.

 

 
 

In the beginning I did not know about my HIV status.  In 2011 my husband and I went to get tested for HIV and the result was positive. After hearing the news at first I was depressed. However, I was not weary and overwhelmed with the burden of living with HIV because I received support and motivation from my family.  My mother always gives me support and spiritual guidance and my husband continues to give me encouragement to persevere and to accept everything with sincerity.


 
 

"WE GO TO THE MOSQUE TOGETHER, SLEEP AND EAT TOGETHER. WE DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY."

- Reni's Mother


 
 
A portrait of Reni and her mother who never left her side.

A portrait of Reni and her mother who never left her side.

 

 

Before I started taking ARV (Antiretroviral medicine) I weighed 18kg.  At one point I was hospitalized six times.  It was a bit challenging to do normal activities and I needed to get plenty of rest.

 

 
 
A portrait of Reni before taking ARV (Antiretroviral).

A portrait of Reni before taking ARV (Antiretroviral).

 
 

I have been taking ARV for four years and my condition is so much better. Now I weigh 41kg and I am able to work just like before I got sick.

 

 
 

 

I wake up every morning at 4 a.m. to pray with my grandmother and mother. Then I take care of the household chores, like cleaning and cooking. I contribute to my community by volunteering at the clinic, assisting doctors and nurses and encouraging patients to take their ARV. In the evenings, I tutor the children in my village to recite the Koran, and I participate in a monthly prayer group with other housewives in my community.

 

 

"i have proven that with arv you can make full recovery"

 

 

It’s important to take ARV on time to suppress the HIV virus from progressing so I always bring my cell phone because it has an alarm to remind me. We cannot be tempted to replace ARV treatment with herbal medicines because only ARV has been proven to treat HIV.

 

 
 
 

“I will not take time for granted and I will never give up.”


 
 

 

I live my life as a beautiful journey.  I will not take time for granted and I will never give up. Those living with HIV should not be scared because I have proven that with ARV you can make full recovery.  And for those who are not HIV positive, don’t be scared to get tested and to know your status.