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University distances itself from Aids isolation call

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    University distances itself from Aids isolation call - 5-Sep-2008
    Massey University has distanced itself from a call by Professor Sitaleki Finau, the university's "director pasifika" to have HIV-positive Pacific Islanders isolated from the rest of society.

    "Comments made by Professor Sitaleki Finau regarding people with HIV/Aids do not represent the views of Massey University," acting vice-chancellor Professor Ian Warrington said tonight.

    Prof Finau is on leave until February 2010 while he holds the role of Niue's acting director of health.

    "I wish to assure the public and members of the Pacific Island community that those views are his own and not endorsed by myself or other management of the university," Prof Warrington said.

    Prof Finau argued that people living with the HIV virus should be isolated, like Fiji's lepers who are held on the island of Makogai.

    His comments triggered a storm of criticism from Pacific heath organisations, but Dr Finau told Radio Australia the way communities dealt with HIV/Aids was not working and he thought a more drastic approach was needed.

    The Pacific Islands Aids Foundation said the isolation proposal was an affront to human dignity, and Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, said the idea of isolating people infected with HIV/Aids would not work.

    Sir Terepai said he had seen examples of when lepers have been segregated into a compound and it was useless calling it isolation because they still had contact with their families.

    No HIV positive islanders are known to live in Niue.
    Ref: - Stuff Website - Pacific AIDS Foundation


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