28 Oct 2004

Political will to confront HIV/AIDS in Pacific increasing, says NZ MP

4:51 pm on 28 October 2004

A New Zealand MP, Steve Chadwick, says political will to confront the growing problem of HIV/AIDS in the pacific is slowly increasing.

Ms Chadwick has recently returned from a conference in France, where she joined parliamentarians from 90 countries to discuss sexual and reproductive health issues.

Ms Chadwick says that with delegates from Australia and Fiji, she was able to offer the often-overlooked pacific perspective to these issues.

She says although a lot of Pacific leaders find it hard to talk openly about these issues, she's starting to notice more involvement at forums from local parliamentarians.

"They have to show an interest, economically, because it's devastating for the country and for countries to develope, to be able to look after their own economic futures, we've got to protect the population. And I'm finding the leaders of those countries actually getting very involved in the issues now - .that's the commitment we've been pushing to look for."

But Steve Chadwick says much more needs to be done to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention and other issues.