2 Dec 2004

Groups gather in American Samoa to mark World Aids Day

4:28 pm on 2 December 2004

Youth groups, women's organisations, government and church leaders and representatives of various government departments in American Samoa gathered at a hotel this morning to mark World AIDS Day.

AIDS program coordinator at the Department of Health Fara Utu says women and girls are being targeted as the messengers that will help promote community awareness and education about the deadly disease.

"They wanted to raise awareness to help address issues affecting women and girls around HIV and AIDS. As of 2001 we locally diagnosed two cases and as of now we do have one returning home just to be with family and friends."

Fara Utu says since the programme was started in 1988 six other women had returned home from the United States to spend time with family and friends. All six had since died of the disease.