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Fiji first to declare gay rights in Pacific

in FIJI, 04/09/2011

FIJI became the first Pacific island nation to formally decriminalise consensual homosexuality last year, the world's second largest gathering on HIV/AIDS was told.

Despite this significant step forward, there was a distinct lack of information about men who had sex with men (MSM) and transgender people in Fiji, a report tabled at the congress on AIDS said.

The report from Amithi Fiji ù a project that focuses on Fijian of Indian descent transgender and MSM ù said attempts were made by the Government to include in HIV surveillance studies of MSM and transgender (TG) issues.

According to the report, very little was published in the academic literature about MSM and TG in Fiji.

The 100-page document said a review of published materials about MSM and TG in Asia and the Pacific in 2009 to 2010 revealed no academic articles specifically about HIV and MSM/TG in Fiji.

"It appears that the only study relating to HIV and risk behaviour among MSM and TG in Fiji was conducted by the AIDS Task Force of Fiji in 1998, with the results being released in 2001," the report said.

AIDS Task Force of Fiji, a community-based HIV organisation established in 1993, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University were also responsible for the findings contained in the report.
 

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