I am Yosua Rumkorem from Nabire. I am 33 years old.  
I am HIV positive. 

 

 
 

When I fell sick for the first time I had high fever, I lost my appetite, and I could not sleep.  Before I got sick I weighed 65kg.  Then after my sudden illness my weight dropped to 40kg.

 

 
 
A portrait of Yosua with Dr. Pingki before making full recovery.

A portrait of Yosua with Dr. Pingki before making full recovery.

 
 

I felt so much burden and anguish.  Then I asked my doctor, “What is this disease that I have? Please tell me what it is because I do not understand it.” Then I asked my mother the same question and I confessed to her that I was terrified that everyone would reject me.  But my mother told me, “The most important thing is that you stay motivated and healthy, and I will always support you.”

 

 

"we do not treat yosua any different in this family"

 
A  portrait of Yosua with his supportive parents.

A  portrait of Yosua with his supportive parents.

 

“I can’t abandon taking ARV because it is my friend for life.”


 
 

 

My parents always encouraged me to go to the doctor and I started taking ARV (Antiretroviral medicine) in 2010.  I did not seek for other alternative medicines and I can’t abandon taking ARV because it is my friend for life. With ARV my health got better, I regained my weight, and I am now able to do my regular activities.

 

 

 
 

 

At home I handle all the household chores, like cooking, washing dishes and clothes. If there were ingredients in the kitchen like vegetables and fish then I would cook my family’s favorite dishes with my own recipe.  My hobby is baking and I could bake almost anything.  I have a goal that I have not reached yet but one day I would like to open a restaurant.

 

 
 

 

I want everyone to know despite being HIV positive I am still healthy. To all my friends with HIV who are still living in hiding and scared to go to the closest clinic or hospital I encourage you to please come and join us.