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South Pacific


It was interesting reading Regan's blog - "Witches, Virgins, Lorikeets and Bandicoots". I remember when Australia was not far removed from such attitudes and as I have stated before, I unknowingly kept a journal of those times most have forgetten. - some of us still remember those times when fear, hatred, homophobia, misogynism and murder were driven by hysteria (directly or indirectly). I guess being a westernised country we (Australia) kept a good face for others to see. Sadly those South Pacific islands have not evolved in terms of HIV education. This is of some concern to me as my work takes me to some of those South Pacific islands and I am well aware of what could happen to me if my status is revealed. It is  an issue that keeps me in check regarding the global problem with HIV. Such current abuse worldwide gives me a degree of perspective and I know I am very privileged to be able to live my life now with some degree of freedom - that eases the pain somewhat of what I experienced many years ago. I guess it will be some time before those islands progress to a level of health education where compassion will replace mystical damnation - afterall the western world went through the same process as we fought christian biblical values during the early years of HIV. It is important to expose these issues and I find myself sitting on edge as I wonder why organisations related to Human Rights do not take a more militant approach to HIV stigma. In our own way we have all been a part of this fight and should be very proud of ourselves.

Andy Velez:
Well said, Hud.

And you're absolutely right that the ongoing prejudice and violence directed at those living with HIV continues to be insufficiently addressed by rights organizations.

Until everyone is safe no one is really safe.

Thanks for throwing a fresh spotlight on this problem.


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