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HIV decree 'removes barriers'

By NASIK SWAMI
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update: 1:37PM FIJI is doing well in its efforts in eliminating stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS.

This was revealed by Dr Tamara Kwarteng, an independent consultant working with the UNAIDS office in the country.

Speaking during the Fiji Mid-term Review of the United Nations General Assembly 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS at Lamis Novotel Hotel, Dr Kwarteng said she has been researching on 10 target areas set at a global level for advancing the response to HIV.

"The areas are of prevention, treatment and care, preventing HIV transmission to children and getting resources for the epidemic and strengthening integration," Dr Kwarteng said.

She said one of the revelations was that the HIV Decree that came into effect in 2010 played a very important role in reducing stigma and discrimination particularly towards people living with HIV.

"The HIV decree also removed any barriers to travel based on HIV status. Before the HIV decree came in and if you were HIV positive, Fiji could deny you entry. Fiji has removed the barrier to travel; this is a very positive thing."

Also speaking at the function permanent secretary for Social Welfare Dr Josefa Korovueta said there was a need to manage and coordinate resources to achieve Fiji's target of having zero HIV/AIDS- related deaths and infections.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has confirmed that 62 new HIV/AIDS cases were detected last year bringing the total number of cases in the country since 1989 to 482 for now.





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