10 Nov 2008

Pacific MPs get handbook to encourage leadership on the HIV/AIDS issue

8:14 pm on 10 November 2008

The United Nations Development Programme has launched a handbook to help Pacific MPs take leadership roles in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Taking Action Against HIV - A Handbook for Parliamentarians was launched by Francesca Semoso, the Deputy Speaker of the Bougainville Legislative Assembly and John Tangi, Leader of the House in the Cook Islands Parliament.

The new Handbook aims to provide parliamentarians with the information they

need in order to initiate and provide the appropriate response to HIV.

Francesca Semoso says MPs need to lead by example.

She says responding to HIV requires commitment, boldness and courage

because it forces people to deal with sensitive issues.

Ms Semoso says it also forces people in the Pacific to look at the status of women, youth, people who have different sexualities, at drug use, human trafficking, child abuse and sex work.