2 Dec 2009

More people in American Samoa being tested for HIV/AIDs

10:20 am on 2 December 2009

More people are now coming forward to be tested for HIV/Aids in American Samoa and health authorities believe this is due to increased public education and awareness about the disease.

According to the HIV/Aids and STD program coordinator at the Health Department, Farah Utu , when the AIDS program was first established in 1988 only 30 people at the most would be tested for HIV Aids per year.

But over time, she says the numbers have increased substantially.

She says for example, last year more than 2000 people were tested and so far this year, 2103 people have received the HIV/Aids test.

Farah Utu says this is a sign of improved attitudes towards HIV/Aids and she believes outreach efforts by their office and the HIV Aids community group are responsible.

Six people have died of AIDS in American Samoa but they contracted the disease off island.

The main event to commemorate World AIDS day in American Samoa is the Health Fair that takes place at Utulei Beach.