26 Nov 2007

Regional AIDS body reviewing work done in Pacific to combat virus

3:12 pm on 26 November 2007

A commission on AIDS in the Pacific says assessing the social and economic impact of the disease on small island states could vastly improve the lives of those who are affected.

Chairman Dr Langi Kavaliku says Pacific countries have limited resources and health systems, so new research may help to move government policies forward to better respond to the disease.

The commission is holding its first regional meeting in Fiji this week to review the work done by various organisations and collate existing information on the prevalence and incidence of HIV/AIDS.

Dr Kavaliku says their findings will be summarized in a UN AIDS report.

"'We hope that our report will be able to point some way forward in terms of prevention, cure and treatment and the need for political leaders and civil society to work together. And at the same time look at the possible potential impact of any increase of HIV/Aids or the lack of prevention of HIV/Aids in economic terms, social terms, security and governance issues."

Dr Langi Kavaliku.

The commission's two day meeting ends tomorrow. (Tues).