29 May 2015

Samoa AIDS awareness campaigner dies

2:50 pm on 29 May 2015

A Samoan woman who was outspoken about AIDS, Peati Iupeli, has died at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole national hospital.

A relative of the family says she was admitted on Wednesday on complications of a stomach pain.

Peati Iupeli had campaigned for people to be aware of the stigma attached to people suffering from AIDS.

She got the virus from her husband who was a national rugby player.

He had also died from AIDS as well as one of her children.

Peati Iupeli spoke publicly on the effect of her family and the loss of her job in a local bank because she was being victimised.

The Samoa Red Cross says the impact Peati Iupeli has had on the nation cannot be matched.

The president of the Red Cross, Va'asilifiti Moelagi Jackson, says Mrs Iupeli wanted to make sure no one else in Samoa suffered the way she did.

"If I were the leader of this country I would have given her an award. Because I don't think anybody can match what she has done. Number one, there is no more further discrimination that was going on here, everyone knows about HIV and they are all aware, because of her work."