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HIV Indegenous Conference In Toronto

Friday, 14 November 2008, 12:52 pm

Press Release: Marama Pala - Executive Director - INA (Maori, Indigenous & South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation

HIV Indegenous Conference In Toronto

Media Release 14 November, 2008

The 2nd Indigenous* Peoples Wises Practices II: Living Knowledge HIV Indigenous Conference, is being held in Toronto, Canada 23 Nov - 30 Nov 2008

Maori have been encouraged to join discussion on the impact of HIV/AIDS on indigenous peoples at the Wises Practices II: Living Knowledge HIV Indigenous Conference in Toronto.

Men, women, TakatÄpui/Two-Spirited (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) INA (Maori, Indigenous & South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation, People of the First Nations, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network and the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy will be attending the event. On the agenda is the planning for the upcoming Indigenous Peoples' Satellite at the XVIIIth International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria in August, 2010. The Indigenous Peoples' Satellite will be a significant event for Indigenous community based activists, researchers and people living with HIV/AIDS to strategize prior to the conference.

Marama Pala, a person living with HIV - New Zealand's representative on the International Indigenous Secretariat will be soon flying to Toronto where representatives from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States meet to discuss the HIV related issues facing our people.

"The International Indigenous Secretariat on HIV has provided a forum for indigenous people from around the world to combine strategies to address HIV in our communities, sharing experiences and methodologies," said Marama Pala.

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"We expect the conference, and planning meeting will 'take' us to the next level of dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our countries," she stated.

"Around the world, HIV infection rates continue to rise dramatically with indigenous people being adversely affected by the epidemic. Māori are no exception, with infection rates reaching the highest ever recorded in New Zealand's history"

More than 40,000 Indigenous people are expected to attend the events and celebrations in Toronto.

"This epidemic is far from over," says Marama Pala. "We need to learn as Indigenous brothers and sisters the wise and best practices as we prepare to face this epidemic together."

ENDS

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