HIV and Gay? Gaya Dewata Needs to Stay

Bali, Happiness & HIV

I am, Sylvia Tidey, a postdoctoral researcher (cultural anthropology) at the
University of Amsterdam. At the moment I have the privilege of conducting a year of fieldwork on HIV prevention & support, transgenders, and "happiness" in Denpasar, Bali (Indonesia).

Gay Men & Transgenders: Gaya Dewata Foundation
In Bali I cooperate with local foundation Yayasan Gaya Dewata (,, a community based organization that has dedicated itself to HIV/AIDS related issues among gay men and transgenders in Bali since it was founded in 1992. Thanks to the passionate work of Gaya Dewata's staff enormous accomplishments have been achieved with regards to HIV prevention initiatives; possibilities for testing; support; access to medication; and learning how to live somewhat comfortably with HIV for its target populations. This organization - sadly - is one of the few of its kind in Bali, a region with a relative high HIV prevalence, in particular among the gay and transgender community, and forms a vital part of HIV prevention and support within that community.

Office Lease Running Out
Because this organization has existed for over twenty years and has had the time to develop into a professional operation, most activities and projects run smoothly: from outreach activities to support groups, to guiding clients during tests medication regimens. In many respects, Gaya Dewata is an excellent example of a successful organization. Unfortunately, there is one obstacle that threatens Gaya Dewata's existence and that is why I am posting this fundraising effort: this coming August the six year lease Gaya Dewata had on their office runs out, which means they have to look for a new office space. This is an incredible shame, not merely because it takes a long time for an organization such as Gaya Dewata to gain acceptance in a neighborhood but also because it becomes increasingly difficult for the already hard to reach clients to find Gaya Dewata's office.

Not "Sexy," But Indispensable
I promised Gaya Dewata, in exchange for their generous acceptance of my presence during my research, to look into potential funding possibilities for buying their own office space. Funding would thus consist of a contribution towards a single, fixed, and tangible goal: a very own office. I realize that an office space is not a "sexy," or "trendy" project. Rather, it is an absolutely indispensable basic condition for Gaya Dewata to continue the pioneering and necessary work they have been doing since 1992. Our goal at this moment is to buy the building that has housed Gaya Dewata for the past six years. The costs are $100,000. We are organizing our own fundraising activities here in Bali but can use all the contributions we can get.

So if you 1) feel sympathetic towards the LGBT community; 2) want to support HIV prevention and support efforts among LGBT peers in a country in which "transgressive" sexual behaviors are increasingly penalized, yet in which the HIV infection rate among members of the LGBT community are on the rise; 3) want your money to be used for a tangible, fixed, and realizable goal: this is the funding opportunity for you!

I hope on behalf of Gaya Dewata to receive support!

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Sylvia Tidey 
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