In the lead up to World AIDS Day we thought we’d take the opportunity to give HIV in Fiji a voice.
600 people in Fiji have contracted HIV in the time since the Ministry of Health started keeping records in the mid 80’s.
While it is true that HIV is a life changing sexually transmit infection, without a cure, it is important to know that contracting this illness is not quite the death sentence it was believed to be years ago.
When AIDS was at its most prevalent, in the mid 80’s, it was portrayed on televisions around the world as death himself
Apolosi Lasei is a peer navigator with The Ministry of Health ‘Hub’ in Lautoka.
with the correct ongoing treatment, HIV positive members of our community can lead a happy and healthy life.
I spoke to Apolosi earlier in the week and he started by explaining what exactly his role with the Ministry of Health entails
The Ministry Of Health offers free, completely confidential, sexual health checks at sites around the country. Apolosi points out that while it might seem embarrassing to have the appointment, it’s no where nears as damaging as the life sentence that is HIV, AIDS or many other Sexually Transmitted Infections.
World AIDS Day is Thursday December 1, here in Fiji the Ministry of Health held a major awareness campaign in Lautoka. An estimated 200 people took to the streets of the city, marching from Shirley Park right through town in a big snake that ended at the festival grounds.
Among the crowd were health care workers, youth groups, church groups NGO charity organisations and members of the LGBTI community. Among the chief guests at the event was Minister Rosie Akbah.
In the crowd at the event was Mosese Baseidei, a project manager at the Viseisei Sai Health Centre. He spoke to Allison on the midday show today and started by telling her what the significance was of events like the World AIDS Day event in Fiji
It’s important that we remember that HIV can not be contracted by;
- Sharing utensils
- Sharing clothes
- drinking from the same cup
HIV can only be contracted by
- Blood to blood transfer (from cuts etc)
- unprotected sex