To celebrate World Aids Day here in Fiji I’m working with the Ministry of Health to see if we can’t both raise awareness of this issue and debunk some of the stigma around it. Being a traditional, conservative, religious community means that community members here still face realities such as being completely ostracised from their families and wider community if they are HIV positive.
While it is still true that HIV is a sexually transmitted infection, without a cure, the infection is treatable. Apolosi Lasei, from the Ministry of Health, is one of 600 known HIV positive Fijians to have been recorded since the ministry started collecting data. He told me that that, these days, he is able to live a normal, healthy, happy life, as long as he stays on top of his medication.
I spoke to Apolosi earlier this week for Mix FM – Fiji’s Best Mix