Fidschi: Jane Keith-Reid

We have a small window of opportunity to reverse HIV infection and save the lives of our Pacific people. If we can trust each other, work together in true partnership, we still have a chance.

— Jane Keith-Reid

Jane Keith-Reid (60) founded the AIDS Task Force of Fiji in 1993. She pioneered a peer education program to reach vulnerable groups, extended peer education training to eight other Pacific countries, set up a drop-in clinic for vulnerable young people and those living with HIV/AIDS, and directed regional research into the closeted issue of "non-gay" men having sex with men. Her work saves lives, prevents new HIV infections, and gives comfort and hope to many. With the Pacific Islands Aids Foundation, she campaigns for free anti-retroviral therapy for HIV-positive Pacific people.

Jane Keith-Reid of Aids Task Force Fiji (ATFF) has worked voluntarily for years to help Pacific people learn of the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Despite threat to herself, her work has significantly improved if not actually saved the lives of many by ensuring that people living with HIV have access to treatment, care, and social support. AIDS was only just making inroads into the Pacific when Jane foresaw its fatal impact and realized the need to establish prevention and awareness programs. Later, she set up social support and treatment programs. In 1997, through ATFF, Jane initiated peer education training in eight Pacific countries to build NGO capacity in the region for peer education and community education trainings. In 2000, ATFF established a drop-in community clinic in Suva to serve vulnerable young people, commercial sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people living with HIV/AIDS. The clinic and ATFF under Jane's guidance directed vital research in Fiji, Samoa, and Vanuatu on sexual behavior of "non-gay" men who have sex with men, to provide information for program design in those countries. Most recently, Jane has been the principal advocate on anti-retroviral combination (ARV) drug therapy for HIV positive people in Fiji and the Pacific and succeeded in securing funding for treatment programs through the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. As a result of her groundbreaking work in the Pacific, Fiji will soon be the first country in the Pacific to begin free treatment for HIV positive people.

AIDS Task Force of Fiji (ATFF)