Living with HIV has built a fighting passion within Marama Pala to help those affected by the disease and for many years she has been a strong voice in battling AIDS.
Recently Marama attended and represented Māori at the communities Delegation on the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Bangkok.
Countries all over the world have traditionally donated to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. New Zealand had pledged NZD $4,450,000 ending 2010, with no news of any further or future pledges to the fund.
Mrs Pala says that many countries have made pledges, and this funding is imperative to helping women and children living with HIV in the funded countries, access life-saving medications, care and support.
A descendant of Ngāti Awa ki Kapiti, Mrs Pala has been appointed to the communities’ delegation a first for Aotearoa and indigenous peoples.
Mrs Pala urges more interest in Global Health, Māori health and Rangatahi health wants all people that need HIV medication to receive the medication as soon as possible, as studies have shown it reduces the rate of transmission by 96%.
HIV is here in NZ and the stigma of it can break a family but, again it's about equitable health, for gender and Māori equity.