Policy Officer/ Āpiha Matua
My background comprises a mixture of community work and HIV research. In 2012 I moved to the UK to do my MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics, where my research was focussed on the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men in Kenya. During this time, I became involved with community-based outreach and point-of-care HIV testing, and I also provided support and companionship for people living with HIV in hospital care. Alongside working at NZAF, I am doing a PhD on the expanding HIV epidemic in the Philippines, looking at how community organisations are responding to the increasing number of new diagnosed cases.
I believe that research, health policy and community should go hand in hand, and they all need to be guided by each other. It is through evidence-based policy informed by the communities affected that we will end HIV transmission. I’m excited to contribute to NZAF’s work in this area, with my role being to provide policy advice and advocacy to create a supportive and enabling environment that will help realise this here in New Zealand.