Against All Odds: HIV/AIDS Epidemic Among Indigenous Papuans
Children and parents from the Husoak village outside of Wamena watch an educational movie on HIV/AIDS.
Perhaps one of the most efficient ways to promote awareness and educate the public on HIV/AIDS is by playing informative movies at open forums. In Wamena, YUKEMDI, a local NGO run by indigenous Papuans, plays an educational movie in rural villages that uses the local dialects and featuring native Papuans. The film is both entertaining and informative often attracting hundreds of villagers to the showings. Villagers receive additional information after watching the movie and are encouraged to ask questions in order to promote communication and open discussions. However, these screenings are not conducted as often as they should be despite their effectiveness and demands from village elders. YUKEMDI is unable to reach and provide HIV/AIDS education to rural villages because they have insufficient funding and support to cover the costs of fuel, transportation, and equipments for the movie screenings in remote communities.
Better methods of education and more effective ways of delivering information on HIV/AIDS need to be implemented in Papua in order to effectively raise awareness and provide accurate and reliable information. This is an essential step to educate and empower the public to make informed decisions and reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection.