Our impact, their voice

Story of Yohana: “I am as productive as other workers”

Yohana* (name has been changed) is one of the plantation workers at one of the multinational companies in Papua. She heard about HIV and AIDS, but she had never really learnt about it. She even never thought about HIV.

Feature | 04 July 2016
Yohana* (name has been changed) is one of the plantation workers at one of the multinational companies in Papua. She heard about HIV and AIDS, but she had never really learnt about it. She even never thought about HIV.

She started to learn more about HIV when her company began its HIV workplace programme. Her manager started to disseminate information related to HIV during the company's regular meetings. The manager shared and discussed about the importance of HIV testing and early detection.

“Since then I started to hear more about HIV. But I did not really pay attention to it yet until one day, in one of the routine meeting, the manager said that the company was organizing an event called HIV testing,” said Yohana.

the manager took me to the hospital. He told me that I could still work as usual. I did not have to worry about losing my job. My HIV status do not affect my employment status. I am grateful that my company is very supportive."

In the meeting, Yohana continued, the manager explained that the HIV testing should be taken voluntarily and the results of the testing would be confidential and would not affect the workers’ jobs.

“On the testing day, the company picked up the plantation workers. We gathered in a tent where snacks and drinks were provided. We had a session with the local Community Health Center. They explained about HIV prevention programme and offered an HIV testing to us,” she said, adding that after seeing her manager got tested first, she voluntarily joined the testing programme.

Three hours later, Yohana was informed that she was HIV positive. “I did not really understand what it meant. I was told that I had to go to the hospital in the city,” she continued. Confused and uncertain, Yohana did not know what to do. She did not have money to go to the hospital and she did not want to miss work.

The company regularly give me the medicines and condoms every month and I just need to consult with the company’s doctor that is more convenient for me. Again, I am grateful."


“Two days later, the manager took me to the hospital. He told me that I could still work as usual. I did not have to worry about losing my job. My HIV status do not affect my employment status. I am grateful that my company is very supportive,” she said.

Today, Yohana does not have to travel far to the city to get her treatment and medications. The company has provided HIV treatment and care at the company’s clinic. “The company regularly give me the medicines and condoms every month and I just need to consult with the company’s doctor that is more convenient for me. Again, I am grateful,” Yohana concluded.