Paula Simonsen – Norway

paula2Paula Simonsen is a Sami from the north of Norway. The Sami People are the native people living in the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and in the west of Russia.

She has been living with HIV since 2003, openly since 2004, and after that informing society about living with HIV, prevention and sexual health. The native view is her main focus. She is the front person of SÁMI+, a support group for Samis living with HIV in Norway, Sweden and Finland.

She grew up on a farm with cows and vegetables, within a family of traditional healers. Traditional health care is concerned with all aspects of a living human: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social—a holistic perspective.

She has been studying traditional handcraft, cooking (natural food and diets), and social anthropology.

As a chef her main focus has been healthy eating, and how food can strengthen both overall health and the immune system. Paula says, “Food is also our medicine.” Today she is working as a chef, making natural food from local nature, for private events and a public nursing home.