Against All Odds: HIV/AIDS Epidemic Among Indigenous Papuans
Becky's newborn son, Gabriel, is cradled to sleep. Becky is HIV-positive but she did not take ARV during her pregnancy. Gabriel often gets sick and his frequent illnesses suggest that he is infected.
In Papua there is a higher recorded number of housewives infected with HIV than sex workers. In most cases, housewives contracted HIV from their husbands. Pregnant wives who are unaware that they are infected with HIV often pass the virus onto their infants. Fortunately, HIV testing on pregnant women is a mandatory practice conducted during pre-natal care. Nevertheless, the transmission of HIV from mother to child still occurs, especially since many women still have limited access to health services and pre-natal care.