Reliogious Leaders Participated in Prevention of HIV&AIDS Transmission


Prevention and reducing of HIV & AIDS can not be done by one party only, it required the work of all parties. Families, communities, governments, and the private sectors take an equally important part in preventing and reducing HIV & AIDS. Maha Bhoga Marga Foundation from 2008 to this day remains committed supporting the prevention and reducing of HIV & AIDS by providing education on valid information about HIV & AIDS both within communities, schools and MBM's assisted groups. In addition to providing information, MBM also trained volunteers who care about HIV & AIDS. Those are trained to be good informants, and have the heart to help those who are suspected at risk to immediately run HIV test, willing to assist, help, not stigmatize or discriminate against people living with HIV.

In 2017, MBM together with KPAD (Regional AIDS Commission) Badung Regency invited 5 village governments in Badung Regency (Petang Village, Legian Village, Sibang Kaja Village, Mengwitani Village, and Tibubeneng Village) to be more active in prevention of HIV & AIDS. The form of activities carried out was to train kelian banjar (Head of Sub-Village), bendesa adat (Head of Traditional Village), STT (Sekaa Teruna Teruni or Village's Youths), community leaders and administrators of PKK (Family Welfare Movement) to be volunteers who accompany KDHA (Krama with HIV & AIDS) or often called PLWHA (People Living with HIV & AIDS).

These volunteers training can be well implemented in addition to the awareness of the village government on prevention and reducing of HIV & AIDS which is also in accordance with the decision of the Traditional Village Assembly (MDP), which is the Assembly owned by traditional village leaders in Bali. From the decision of the MDP's main beneficiaries, it was decided how to bathe corpes of HIV-infected people and technical guidance on the implementation and assistance of handling people infected with HIV & AIDS in Bali. With this decision to invite traditional village leaders, community leaders in sub-villages and villages to implement the decisions in every religious rituals, especially on religious corpse bathed event.

During the discussion session many traditional village leaders expressed their fear to accompany PLWHA, moreover to bathe the corpses of people infected with HIV & AIDS (PLWHA). When there are cases of people living with HIV who die in the village or sub-village there is reluctance to come to the house of the grieving family morover to bathe the corpses, whereas when the family is experiencing grief, this opportunity is used as a final tribute to those who died by bathing the corpses. In this nyiramin layon (corpse bathing) procedure requires the people who takes part in it to use gloves, not only for the corpses of people living with HIV but to apply to all corpses. This understanding needs to be constantly emphasized to the community and needs the support of traditional village and community leaders.

There were 178 people (127 men and 51 women) involved in the training. By inviting head of sub-village, head of traditional village, STT (village's youths group), community leaders and PKK boards are expected to be more concerned so that more people are involved in HIV & AIDS prevention and control. So that stigma and discrimination could be decreased.