TWO Fijians were brutally assaulted in the Cook Islands about two weeks ago, just days after a Fijian national was tested HIV positive and deported out of the island country.
Local HIV advocacy groups said one of the youths who was attacked almost lost an eye in the "hate crime".
The incident sparked outrage and concern among locals living with HIV and calls were made for a review of the Cook Islands health legislation. As a result the Cook Island government has tasked Pacific Islands Aids Foundation to draft a sample HIV law.
PIAF legal training officer and policy analyst Laitia Tamata confirmed he travelled to the Cook Islands to investigate the matter.
"The Fiji national was working in the Cook Islands and as part of requirements for renewing his work permit, he had to undergo a medical test. The tests came back positive and the medical professionals were shocked they had to diagnose someone who was HIV positive," he said.
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