Temo Sasau – Fiji

temoTemo Sasau (I-taukei) is married with one child (son) whose birthday is also on World AIDS Day. He had worked with Fiji Red Cross for over 10 years. Diagnosed with HIV in December 2006, Temo was discreetly demoted from his job to a casual staff position. Temo joined Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation (PIAF), a regional organisation that focuses solely on improving the quality of life of people living with HIV. Through PIAF, he has become one of their regional PLHIV advocates, coordinating the regional AIDS Ambassadors work and working towards the development of support groups in Fiji for people living with HIV. As an Advocate, Temo does outreach and peer support in most of the Pacific Island countries, especially with Ambassadors in Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Fiji and Solomon Islands. He is involved in the development of support groups specifically for people living with HIV and is currently conducting a weekly support group meeting for people living with life-threatening illness. Temo recently joined Empower Pacific (formerly known as Pacific Counselling & Social Services) as the National Manager Clinical Services after the closure of PIAF in early 2013. He is currently the PLHIV representative for the Pacific Response Fund Committee (PRFC) and the Pacific Islands Multi-Country Coordinating Mechanism (PIRMCCM).

Temo has almost 20 years of hands on experience working with people at the grassroots level, including marginalised and stigmatised groups. For 5 years he specifically focussed on high-level advocacy with government leaders and organisations. Temo is passionate in peer treatment adherence support for those taking prescribed medicines for the rest of their lives such as antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Temo Sasau is proud to be a Fijian living with HIV and continues to look for ways to support others who are living with HIV and their families.