1 Jun 2015

Tributes paid to Samoan HIV/AIDS awareness advocate

10:15 am on 1 June 2015

People in Samoa are paying tribute to Peati Iupeli, a woman they credit with educating the nation on HIV/AIDS awarenss, and changing the way people view those living with HIV.

Peati Iupeli has died at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole national hospital, after being admitted on Wednesday.

She was the only person in Samoa to publicly declare her HIV status.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says when the news of AIDS and HIV first reached Samoa, people had a very different mindset about the disease.

He says when Peati Iupeli spoke out about having HIV, the stigma of it, and how she lost her job because of it, her story touched the hearts of people in Samoa.

"Because she came out, spoke out strongly as a woman and a mother, trying to make people aware, at the same time teach our people, and the whole world, about a person being infected, and then how we should approach them and accept them into society, especially in the Samoan family."

hospital bed

Photo: 123rf