22 Apr 2008

SPC likens HIV problem to national security risk

3:19 pm on 22 April 2008

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says HIV/AIDS is a threat to the national security in the region.

Many nations in the region have some of the world's highest rates of HIV/AIDS and data suggest people are more vulnerable to the disease because of a high incidence of other sexually transmitted illnesses.

The organisation's deputy director general, Falani Aukuso, says Pacific nations must work together to achieve the best results.

Mr Aukuso says the illness is not only a public health problem, but affects the survival of whole nations.

"What it does to the population that is affected in terms of their capacity to contribute to the national economy and being part of the country's human resources. These contribute to the threat of the place being able to look after itself."

Falani Aukuso says non-governmental organisations in particular do an important job in responding to the HIV/AIDS threat.