Article Title:Religion hinders Pacific HIV prevention
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or Credit:GayNZ.com News Staff
Published on:19th May 2004 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:2335
Text:Additional funding for HIV/AIDS in the Pacific is not enough to prevent a growing epidemic of the disease in New Zealand's nearest neighbours - religious and cultural barriers must also be overcome, says the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier has welcomed the announcement by Health Minister Annette King of an extra $3 million to fight HIV/AIDS in the Pacific, but added that Pacific people must fight traditional taboos and find ways to bring the subjects of sex and sexuality out into the open. “HIV/AIDS cannot be defeated with secrets, shame and prejudice," she said, adding that the Pacific challenge on HIV was also a New Zealand challenge. “We have large populations of Pacific Island peoples in this country and what happens in their home nations can be reflected in New Zealand. The AIDS Foundation has its own anti-HIV outreach programme for Pacific Islanders and will continue to seek ways of cooperating with local Pacific leaders to ensure appropriate HIV education messages reach all communities."    
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