2 Nov 2006

HIV/AIDS deaths in Marshalls prompt new approach

3:13 pm on 2 November 2006

The Marshall Islands is re-evaluating its HIV Aids strategy and do more prevention work.

There have been 13 HIV Aids cases during the past 20 years, but in the past year three people have died of AIDS and three new cases of HIV have been identified.

The Director of Public Health, Dr. Kennar Briand, has told a health ministry workshop that not enough is being done to prevent HIV/AIDS from becoming an epidemic in the Marshall Islands.

Mr Briand says he is concerned that the Marshall Islands is entering a new phase for HIV transmission.

Until recently all of the confirmed HIV cases were among people who had been living outside the country and either returned or moved to the Marshalls.

But now he says with more locals getting sexually transmitted diseases, transmission among the 58,000 strong population is likely to spread more quickly.