6 Dec 2007

Fears for more HIV/AIDS stigmatisation in Vanuatu if confidentiality broken

11:15 am on 6 December 2007

A Chief from Santo in Vanuatu has called for Health authorities to make known all people infected with HIV/AIDS.

The Daily Post newspaper reports Chief Gerom Naliupis as saying Vanuatu's Department of Health should shoulder some blame for the spread of the disease/AIDS.

He says that despite the health laws of keeping patient confidentiality, health authorities are encouraging the disease to spread.

Chief Naliupis says the best way to prevent the spread of the disease is for health authorities to make known the name of the person, so others are aware and take precautions.

Meanwhile, the Daily Post also features an interview with the first person tested positive with HIV in Vanuatu, who was publicly declared as being HIV positive in 2002.

Irene Malachi warns against the stigma and discrimination against HIV in a country which she says lacks awareness of HIV/AIDs.

Ms Malachi says the stigma and social rejection she experienced in the community following the disclosure has been shocking.