4 Jan 2011

Cooks Government urged to reconsider opinion over HIV positive resident

11:49 am on 4 January 2011

The Cook Islands government is being urged to reconsider seeking legal advice over identifying a Rarotongan resident who is HIV positive.

The Te Tiare group, which promotes rights for transgender men, says upholding human rights should be the most important consideration for the government to consider.

The Vice-president of Te Tiare Association, Serena Cowan, adds patient confidentiality is also paramount.

Ms Cowan believes revealing the identity of the HIV sufferer will cause that person to become stigmatized by the community and that the focu needs to be placed on promoting safe sex.

She says moves by the Ministry of Health to be seek a legal opinion goes against the assurances made to Te Tiare Association by the former secretary of health.

The group had been told that the results of anyone who had undergone HIV testing would be kept confidential.