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Fiji Time: 5:05 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Treat them as normal

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, January 30, 2014

LOVE them, care for them and treat them just like any other person in society.

These were the words of President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau while responding to queries raised by students of Labasa Arya College on how to treat people living with HIV/AIDS.

Ratu Epeli encouraged the students to always love people living with HIV/AIDS.

"Treat them with love. They are part of us and they are just the same as you and I.

"They are covered under the same laws with us and they have the same rights," he said.

"They are part of the community and we work together. When we work together, there will be no problem."

Ratu Epeli told the students church groups and iTaukei institutions such as the provincial councils had changed and become positive.

He said in the past, these groups never got involved in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS issues. But that attitude, Ratu Epeli said, had changed because the groups realised their own members were being affected.

"So they had to change their attitude."

Ratu Epeli also told the students they needed to encourage their parents to openly share issues of HIV/AIDS.

"HIV/AIDS education begins at home where all good things begin and parents are responsible for teaching the facts of life."