5 Mar 2012

Fiji increase in HIV/AIDS due to better awareness

1:55 pm on 5 March 2012

The Ministry of Health in Fiji says reported cases of HIV/AIDs in the country have increased sharply because of higher awareness and better testing clinics.

The Ministry says from 1989 to the present time 400 people are known to have contracted the virus.

That figure was 366 in 2010.

A Ministry spokesperson, Peni Namotu, says more people are becoming confident in getting tested for HIV/AIDs and discussing the effects of the virus.

"This is taboo in traditional Fiji society, and that is telling them not to really be open in talking in about sexually transmitted infections. And this is what we have been encouraging the people to do so, for parents to advise their children especially those that are in the teenage age group."

Peni Namotu says there are still people who have yet to overcome the stigma around HIV/AIDs.