I am Ratna, originally from Makassar. I am 31 years old. I am HIV positive.
Initially my husband fell sick. He was later diagnosed with HIV and passed away. I contracted the HIV virus from him. As my health deteriorated I lost all hope to live because I thought for sure I was going to die.
But as a single parent, my daughter, Amel, needs me and she is the only source of my motivation to live. After learning about my status, I searched for medicine that I heard could evidently contain the HIV virus’ progress inside my body.
"my daughter needs me, she is the biggest source of my motivation to live"
I started taking ARV (Antiretroviral medicine) in 2010. I take it once a day before going to sleep. ARV has greatly improved my health. I am able to go back to work and even do more activities than before.
I have been a schoolteacher for over five years. I teach over 120 students at a high school in the courses of religion and HIV. Although I am HIV positive my colleagues at school continue to give me support and they even ensured me that I would not be rejected due to my status.
“I am not a person who is sick, weak and helpless, and wasted."
I hope that we are more courageous to get tested for HIV because it’s much better to know our status to get immediate treatment and prevent passing the HIV virus to others.
I have opened up about my status publicly because I wanted to prove to everyone that although I am HIV positive I am not a person who is sick, weak and helpless, and wasted.