5 Jun 2009

Solomon Islands AIDS Council hits out at discrimination against infected people

5:17 pm on 5 June 2009

The Solomon Islands National Aids Council has lashed out at discrimination of people infected with HIV/AIDS or those suspected of having the virus.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports the Coordinator John Gela says a reported assault of a suspected person in Malaita province this week is barbaric and must be condemned.

A female alleged to have contracted the virus was assaulted and chased from a village in Kwara'ae with a bush knife when relatives learnt of her status.

But Mr Gela says people living with the virus must be respected and not assaulted.

Meanwhile, the Council says the under-reporting of HIV cases may be linked to the low number of people turning up at testing centres to have their blood taken.

Mr Gela says the stigma and discrimination against victims and alleged victims of HIV/AIDS is becoming a barrier for people to willingly give blood tests.