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Jakarta Post

Ending the stigma

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 23 2020   /  01:00 am
Medical personnel roll out biers from an ambulance in the Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, West Java, on Oct. 2. The ambulance will be used to pick up asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who will undergo independent isolation at the stadium. JP/Dhoni Setiawan(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

One of the challenges Indonesia has faced in its decades-long fight against HIV/AIDS is the stigma that accompanies the disease. Often, the public takes things into its own hands by sending those who test positive into exile, branding them as a source of problems and a burden. A similar phenomenon is occurring as the country struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19, which since early March has infected more than 378,000 and killed nearly 13,000. In some countries, the stigma has even developed into prejudice against Asians, simply because the pandemic began in Wuhan, China. A survey conducted in August by the LaporCOVID-19 (Report COVID-19) community, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Indonesia (UI) Faculty of Psychology, discovered that stigma surrounding COVID-19 patients and survivors did not subside. Needless to say, ending the pandemic is impossibl...