Indonesian woman with HIV denies media reports of 4 Taiwanese boyfriends

Migrant worker was arrested for absconding from employer and fraudulently using another person's identity

Migrant worker known as "Arnie" is detained by National Immigration Agency. (NIA photo)

Migrant worker known as "Arnie" is detained by National Immigration Agency. (NIA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An undocumented Indonesian migrant worker has denied unsubstantiated reports that she has four Taiwanese boyfriends, while authorities seek to trace the source of her HIV infection.

At 2 a.m. on Sunday (July 12) National Immigration Agency (NIA) agents in Taoyuan's Pingzhen District arrested a 38-year-old Indonesian migrant worker for absconding from her employer and fraudulently using another person's identity. The woman, who goes by the pseudonym "Arnie" (阿妮), had come to Taiwan in July 2019 to work as a caregiver, but in December absconded to live with her Indonesian boyfriend in Yunlin County, according to Ching Shao-an (荊少安), head of the NIA's specialized operation squad in Taoyuan, reported CNA.

In June, she discovered she was pregnant and after discussing the situation with her boyfriend they decided to terminate the pregnancy. In order to avoid being revealed as an "unaccounted-for worker" she borrowed an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and national health insurance (NHI) card from an Indonesian friend before visiting an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Yunlin County.

Since she was already six months pregnant, the doctor refused to perform the procedure. However, a blood test carried out during the consultation revealed she had contracted HIV and the clinic informed the Yunlin County Public Health Bureau.

Local media reports alleged she had four Taiwanese "boyfriends" in Chiayi and traveled to see them every week. When news broke of her diagnosis and was shared on social media, she became frightened and went into hiding at an apartment rented out by an Indonesian, in Taoyuan.

After she was arrested by NIA agents, Arnie vehemently denied having multiple boyfriends. She insisted that she was monogamous and that her Indonesian boyfriend was the father of their child, reported UDN.

Arnie speaks with immigration agent. (NIA photo)

Arnie said she did not know how she became infected with the virus. She added that when she was notified she had contracted the disease, she panicked and went into hiding.

In April, Arnie was involved in a financial dispute with an Indonesian in Miaoli County and accused of committing fraud, according to a preliminary NIA investigation. After undergoing questioning by police in Taoyuan, she will be transferred to the Miaoli District Prosecutor's office for fraudulently assuming the identity of another person.

Taoyuan health authorities are planning to give Arnie another blood test. The Yunlin health bureau stated that it expects to work with the labor department and the NIA to trace the movements of the couple and any other person she may have had sexual contact with.

Arnie hands over documents to NIA agents. (NIA photo)