On a recent Monday afternoon at the Ruang Carlo sexual health clinic at Carolus Hospital in central
Jakarta, Dr Vero had an especially busy shift. The only doctor on duty that day she worked six hours until 8pm. She saw 10 patients, all of them arriving for their first HIV test. All of them were gay. Eight tested positive.
With each positive test result comes the counseling afterward and the emphasis on encouraging partners to get tested, too. In my one-hour conversation with Dr Vero endearingly reaches for a metaphor in English to make plain her worries she expects more days like that one she had in mid December.
"Still many people don't know about their health," Dr Vero explains. "It's just the tip of the ice cube."