World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Advocating For Rights of HIV Positive People

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOVEMBER 19 2012

Advocating For Rights of HIV Positive People

In a region where community rejection is common for people who declare their HIV positive status, a group in Fiji is working to advocate for their rights.

The Fiji Network for People Living with HIV (FJN+) is supported by the Pacific Islands HIV and STI Response Fund, established three years ago with funding from donors including AusAID, France and the New Zealand Aid Programme to address the growing rate of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the Pacific.

Luke Nayasa, 38, is part of the FJN+ team of advocates working with other local and regional organisations to educate the public, both in Fiji and throughout the region, about the virus.

“It’s not easy to come out publicly and say that I’m HIV positive because you stand a chance of being stigmatised, discriminated against and isolated,” Nayasa says.

Ten years after being first diagnosed with HIV, Nayasa has overcome the rejection of his family and friends, is comfortable with his status, and has his own family, who are HIV negative.

Nayasa lost his first son, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2002 after unexplained prolonged illnesses. At this point, Nayasa and his first wife – then pregnant with their second child – discovered their status.

His daughter, now aged nine, was one of the first three babies in Fiji to undergo successful treatment for preventing mother-to-child transmission. His first wife succumbed to HIV related illnesses four years after their diagnosis in 2006.

Nayasa has been on antiretroviral drug therapy, which has helped keep his viral load down. Since remarrying in 2008, he has had another son.

In 2010, Nayasa went public with his status and the fact that his wife, daughter and son were all free of the virus.

Nayasa and his wife offer new hope for sero-discordant couples in Fiji and the Pacific Islands (sero-discordant describes a couple where one person is HIV positive and the other HIV negative).

‘We are a normal family like any other family in Fiji. We have our ups and downs,’ said Nayasa. ‘Having a family is the best treatment because you get to enjoy every little thing in a different way.’

‘My family has taught me valuable life lessons and I use these experiences when I’m on an outreach programme. It helps me tell my audiences about the human side of HIV and AIDS.’

Nayasa is also a Sports Training and Outreach Programme (STOP) HIV champion under the umbrella of the Oceanic National Olympic Committee (ONOC).

He continues his advocacy work, lobbying for better awareness and acceptance on the part of the general public that HIV ‘is not a death sentence’.


FJN+ Advocate, Mr Luke Nayasa

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news