Mate Aaraikore A Muri Ake Nei: Experiences of Maori New Zealanders living with HIV Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Background: This paper is drawn from the first comprehensive study in New Zealand of the health and social experiences of HIV positive people and specifically addresses the experiences of HIV positive Maori. Methods: A total of 226 HIV positive men and women completed an anonymous, self-administered HIV Futures New Zealand questionnaire. Twenty-five Maori completed the survey (17 male, 7 female, 1 transgendered). The majority identified as takataapui (Maori and homosexual) five were heterosexual women, and four identified with other sexualities. Results: Seven respondents indicated that they had received pre-test counselling, and 18 that they had received post-test counselling. The mean CD4 count at most recent test was 462.4 cells/µL. The mean HIV viral load result at most recent test was 558.1 copies/mL. Two-thirds of respondents were currently using antiretroviral treatments, and half had taken a break from them. The most commonly cited source of social support was their doctor. Eight respondents were in full-time work; most received benefits or a pension as their main income source; five were living below the poverty line. Only two respondents did not personally know another person with HIV. All had disclosed their status to someone; fifteen said that unwanted disclosure had occurred. Eight reported experiencing discrimination concerning accommodation, nine in a medical setting and seven in relation to employment. Conclusions: Maori people in New Zealand have access to a comprehensive health care system, nonetheless it is of concern that a number report discrimination and unwanted disclosure of their HIV status, most particularly within health care settings.

authors

  • Grierson, Jeffrey
  • Pitts, Marian
  • Herewini, Te Herekiekie
  • Rua'ine, Geoff
  • Hughes, Anthony J
  • Saxton, Peter JW
  • Whyte, Matt
  • Misson, Sebastian
  • Thomas, Mark

publication date

  • 2004