30 Nov 2009

SPC looks to prevent other sexually transmitted infections in order to contain HIV

12:14 pm on 30 November 2009

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, or SPC, says the region is now focussing on preventing other sexually transmitted infections as part of its campaign to contain HIV.

Key partners in the implementation of the Pacific Regional Strategy on HIV and other STIs have agreed to make use of surveillance data collected over the past four years.

The SPC's Dr Dennie Iniakwala says this information gives a better idea of what works and what doesn't.

He says it shows that while the occurrence of HIV in some places in the Pacific is almost zero, high levels of STIs, such as chlamydia, show unprotected sex is still prevalent.

He says that means these countries face a significant threat from HIV.

"And so we need to start strengthening our surveillance and treat cases of other STIs. And the way in terms of prevention, behaviour change, use of condoms, and messages going out to prevent other STIs would be the same message that can also be used to prevent HIV."