30 Jul 2010

Fiji health officials call for more effort to confront the spread of HIV

3:28 pm on 30 July 2010

There are serious concerns in Fiji at the growing number of HIV-AIDS cases and Health Ministry officials are calling for a greater effort to control its spread.

The PACNEWS agency reveals that this comes amid revelations that 3 new-born babies have tested positive to HIV so far this year.

Fiji's Health Ministry's Assistant Media Liaison Officer, Peni Namotu, told local media this week that the Ministry wants religious organizations, teachers and parents to help encourage people to take preventative measures.

Fiji's National Advisor on Family Health, Dr Josaia Samuela, says there've been 21 new cases so far this year, after 43 new cases last year.

Since 1989 Fiji has reported that 354 people have contracted the virus.

Dr Samuela says Fiji is no longer eligible for Global Fund money to fight the spread of HIV but it will seek assistance through the Pacific Community's Pacfic Response Fund.