Papua is the largest province in Indonesia and it’s home to approximately 1% of Indonesia’s population. However, approximately 40% of all HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia are located in Papua. Currently, Papua has the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the country, 15 times higher than the national average and the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence outside of Africa.
Indigenous Papuans are also deprived of the essential awareness of HIV/AIDS and the knowledge of how to prevent infection. Those who are suspected of having the HIV virus have restricted access to get immediate testing and indigenous Papuans already living with HIV/AIDS or ODHA are lacking sufficient care and counseling.
The plight of indigenous Papuans is under documented. There are very few articles and images depicting the issue accurately and thoroughly.
The aim of Against All Odds is to produce an in depth photo essay examining some of the factors responsible for the pandemic level of HIV/AIDS among indigenous Papuans. Ultimately, I seek to be a catalyst that raises awareness of the numerous flaws within the status quo and puts out a call for immediate actions to remedy this dire situation. In the end, I want to promote the development of improved methods in preventing the spread of HIV and provide essential aid for indigenous Papuans living with AIDS.
Photo Essay and Multimedia:
The finished essay will be submitted to traditional news outlets. I will also create a multimedia piece consisting of images, audio interviews, and video.
I will also create a mini-book that will be sent to select NGOs, influential policy makers, and health organizations both to raise awareness as well as provide accurate and updated references to stress immediate actions that must be taken to remedy the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Papua.
I welcome and encourage everyone to take part in this project. Each supporter will receive behind the scenes access to this project. I will share as much I can throughout this journey. Also, everyone will have the opportunity to help me select photos for the final edit of the book.
How Funds Will Be Used:
Your support will help offset costs of airfare, local transport, fixer, food and lodging for 6 months, multimedia and printing.
Papua is classified as a restricted area by the Indonesian government and it’s almost impossible for foreign journalists to gain access and conduct independent research. I am the right person for this task due to my Indonesian background, fluency of the main language, and established ties with local NGOs and key figures.
Awareness, prevention, and sufficient treatment and care are the cornerstones of an effective response to contain the spread of HIV and provide a better quality of life to indigenous Papuans living with AIDS. To ensure the welfare and longevity of the indigenous Papuan population and culture these essentials must be guaranteed. Together, with your direct support and involvement, we could spark these developments and provide vital aid to indigenous Papuans.
Note: Each supporter will have access to behind-the-scenes information and have their name mentioned on the project’s blog.