Positive Voices: Yogie Wirastra
Positive Voices is an ongoing series featuring Asian LGBT individuals who are HIV-positive and are living positively.
It was a double blow for 20-year-old Yogie Wirastra who found out he was HIV-positive shortly after his boyfriend was killed in a traffic accident. That was eight years ago and for many years he did not tell anyone about his infection until four years ago when he finally told someone – a close friend.
Just two months ago, Yogie came out to his father, whom he wasn't close to, as being gay and HIV-positive. To his surprise, his father told him that he was sorry – not because he is positive, but because he was not there to comfort him when he (Yogie) received his test result.
Now 28, Yogie is a freelance web programmer and volunteers at the MSM&TG Task force of JOTHI (Jaringan Orang Terinfeksi HIV Indonesia or PLHIV network in Indonesia). A native of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, he is currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he is working on a project with AIDS Alliance and Malaysian Aids Council. He says he plans to stay in Malaysia for the time being as Yogyakarta is still reeling from the devastation caused by the recent eruption of Mount Merapi that killed over 350 people and made nearly 400,000 refugees.
Yogie shares his journey from learning his positive status to finally reaching out to join a support group five years later and helping others cope with being positive.
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