7 Jan 2004

Drugs to treat HIV to be made available in Fiji

8:32 am on 7 January 2004

Health authorities in Fiji say they fear many HIV positive patients might be reluctant to take retroviral drugs if they were available.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health's HIV/AIDs project, Dr Jiko Luveni, says plans to distribute drugs among patients this year will not succeed without a major education campaign.

Dr Luveni says many patients are frightened of the drugs' side-effects and the repercussions if they are not taken consistently.

But she says more people might be willing to come forward for testing now that the Ministry has United Nations funding to provide drugs.