I was excited of course and my heart was thumping when I was about to experience this first time. I believe people would likely want to think it over and over again, but I assure you that it was a very big step that I took in order to make a difference and affect real change. I want to change the way young people think, to support them with actual information and education concerning HIV. Joining the workshop for Asia against AIDS-Back To Zero: Indonesia’ is how I started, but this first time is another story altogether.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Change starts within yourself”? It never occurred to me before that I was going to take a HIV test, because I believe I have only a minor risk of being infected by the virus. But then I realized that if I don’t even make a difference for myself, then how can I inspire others?
My first time actually happened earlier today, when I took the HIV test at PKBI Bali clinic. Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) is a NGO which addresses the needs of reproductive and sexual health for people in Denpasar. There is a procedure that has to be fulfilled just before I could take the test: I had a counseling session with one of the professionals from PKBI, who asked for my reason to take the test, the readiness to learn more and last but not least my sexual activity. She also informed me about the next steps to take when I find out if I’m HIV positive or HIV negative. This made me a little bit scared, but it only took around 15 minutes to get the result so it wasn’t a huge problem. The results showed that I’m HIV negative but the counselor advised that I should take another test in 3 months’ time, just to be sure. It took me some time to gain my courage, plus I’m afraid of injection needles! But I’m glad that I took the test and I hope that by encouraging myself, I can also encourage other young people around me. Dream big, start small and act now!