From time to time INA conducts campaigns or particular projects focusing on ending stigma and discrimination.

We encourage people to examine their own prejudices, judgments and opinions on HIV and humanity.


Why we need to Decolonize Research

"When Indigenous peoples become the researchers and not merely the researched, the activity of research is transformed. Questions are framed differently, priorities are ranked differently, problems are defined differently, and people participate on different terms"

Professor Linda Tuhiwai-Smith

Stigma and Discrimination

Indigenous people throughout the world without HIV suffer from differing forms of stigma and discrimination without the added layer of HIV.

Living with HIV applies another layer of stigma and more discrimination. If you are Taktaapui or Two-Spirit, (a man that has sex with men), a Sex Worker, a person who uses drugs, someone living with HIV, and Indigenous this compounds the levels of stigma and discrimination that Indigenous People face.

Aspirational studies, research, and anecdotal information, has shown us, for particularly Māori whānau living with HIV, the stigma and discrimination are extremely disproportionate compared with non-Māori in their communities. There have been some cases where death has occurred in an age when AIDS-related deaths are ending.

INA works with communities, whānau, hapū and iwi to build strengths-based approaches for whānau living with HIV. We believe our strengths are steeped in our Tikanga tuku iho. We will work with all diversities to reduce incidences of stigma for whānau living with HIV. We do this by;

  • Upholding their human rights;
  • Ensuring they have equitable access to treatment and care;
  • Recognising that a tailored response for marginalised groups is imperative;
  • Address criminalisation of HIV for Indigenous peoples and women, advocating when neccessary to uphold their rights;
  • Have culturally appropriate prevention strategies and understand the complexities of sexual health for Indigneous peoples;
  • Acknowledge and address gender equality within a safe cultural context, with the protection of whānau living with HIV;
  • Have culturally appropriate strategies to tackle stigma and discrimination on a case by case basis;
  • Encourage decolonising research as it refers to HIV and TB

Links and information

UNAIDS has a committed target of eliminating stigma and discrimination as an effort to end AIDS by 2030 UNAIDS - stigma and discrimination read more.

There is also a people living with HIV Stigma Index led by people living with HIV read more

Words can affect us


Media has played both a valuable role and a deceptive role in informing the public about HIV. Some of the terms that are used can be misleading about the virus and harmful to people living with HIV.

Here is a link to some acceptable terminology, that of course will change with the times. One good thing to remember is that people living with HIV do not have AIDS or are an AIDS Victim or Sufferer. Language can sometimes continue to isolate and discriminate people.

INA (Māori, Indigenous & South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation

To improve the quality of life for whānau living with and impacted by HIV, and improve the quality of information given to whānau, hapū and Iwi.

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