13 Mar 2009

Alarming figures for Maori and Pacific in NZ affected by HIV/AIDS

4:43 pm on 13 March 2009

Figures for Maori and Pacific people, including children, with HIV/AIDS infections in New Zealand is a major concern

The seriousness of the situation was highlighted by the Chief Executive of the Maori, Indigenous and South Pacific HIV/AIDS foundation, Marama Pala, who is living with HIV herself, along with her husband whose also carrying the HIV infection .

She says while figures are not always accurate because those filling out the form are not necessarily the ones with the infection, the figures presented in Auckland recently show that Maori and Pacific have a higher rate of infection in comparison to europeans.

"Especially with children so for every one European child there's four-point five Maori and four-point-six Pacific children and for infections in New Zealand, for those occuring in New Zealand again using European as a reference of one-point zero person we are coming out at two-point-eight Maori women and three-point three Pacific Island women its an area that's a concern for us."