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Fiji Time: 2:48 AM on Wednesday 30 July

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Drama rings HIV alert

Sherita Sharma
Saturday, November 24, 2012

A RADIO drama documentary series 'Walk with Mele' will help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.

UNAIDS Pacific Country co-ordinator Tim Rwabuhemba said using relevant and culturally necessary messages was to raise awareness about HIV and help address social obstacles such as discrimination and stigma.

He made the comment at the launch of the 'Walk with Mele' radio drama series in Suva.

"It will no doubt enlighten many Fiji Islanders as to the realities of their very own women living with HIV, and families affected by HIV," Mr Rwabuhemba said.

"The work has been ground-breaking in the region and every country, often bringing to the fore the raw challenges and hardship faced by people living with HIV," Mr Rwabuhemba said while commending the work of the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation in the region.

"PIAF has had to endure the brunt of these challenges, and so indeed, they are probably the most appropriate organisation to express these realities to the rest of the community."

The radio drama documentary is developed from the PIAF research report Experiences and Perspectives of Women Living with HIV in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, focusing on stories of HIV-positive women from the Pacific.

"The launching of 'Walk with Mele' is fitting as it highlights the vulnerability of the women of Fiji to HIV and the role violence has in fuelling its spread," Mr Rwabuhemba said.

Fiji Network for People living with HIV board member Rebecca Kubunavanua said the radio drama highlighted stories and issues of HIV positive women in Fiji and Pacific.

"Not all stories are negative as this radio drama shares some positive stories of family and community support, and we hope this radio drama has an impact on the mind-sets of people and communities within the region," Ms Kubunavanua said.

The PIAF launched the first series of Walk with Mele in 2009.


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