HIV Awareness in Papua –

The small wood and corrugated iron shack is dark, the only light coming from a hole in the wall above the fireplace. In a corner, Tarius* (23) lies on a thin mattress. His face is gaunt, his gaze empty. Every so often, a rumbling cough shakes his chest. He seems oblivious to the lively family discussions around him. One of his cousins recently died after an unknown illness and his funeral is to be held later in the day. But the family is worried about Tarius’ own condition, as he has been unable to keep food down for over ten days and is rapidly losing weight. Tarius’ father came across an NGO worker talking about sexually transmittable diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS at the market a few days ago and although he has not shared his worries with the rest of the family, he fears his son’s symptoms are those of AIDS.

HIV test

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