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Turia cautions against complacency


Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister for Health

1 December 2011

Media statement

Turia cautions against complacency

Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia, has cautioned against complacency as New Zealand marks World AIDS Day (today 1 December).

“I want to acknowledge the commitment of a passionate and professional NGO and DHB workforce who have worked hard to improve service coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS” said Mrs Turia.

“The theme for World AIDS Day 2011 is ‘Getting to Zero’ – zero new HIV infections; zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths’.

“I am acutely aware of the concerted efforts of service providers like Body Positive, INA (Maori, Indigenous and South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation; NZ AIDS Foundation and Positive Women who have worked with the HIV/AIDS sector to increase awareness, fight prejudice, improve surveillance and advance educational campaigns”.

“But there is still much to be done. I am particularly concerned that stigma and discrimination are still a major issue in the context of HIV in New Zealand.

“While we celebrate the advances in medical diagnosis and treatment there is no room for complacency, particularly when we consider the rise in steadily increasing new HIV diagnoses amongst men who have sex with men”.

“Getting to zero must be a community effort.

In Budget 2011 I was able to secure funding for new sexual health initiatives, including health promotion initiatives aimed at reducing the stigma faced by people living with HIV and AIDS and addressing the reduction in condom use in some populations”.

We must mobilise our communities and increase our efforts in access to HIV prevention, treatment and care”.

“HIV has not gone away. We must continue to make sexual safety a priority in our conversations with each other; and work together to encourage a greater focus on wellness and survival”.

ENDS



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