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AIDS figures rise

Serelisoni Moceica
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FIJI registered 418 cases of HIV/AIDS by the end of last year.

The year also marked the highest number of recorded cases at 53 compared to previous years.

There were 32 HIV-positive males compared to 21 females. Most of the cases belonged to the iTaukei population at 42; there were only eight Fijians of Indian decent with the disease and three were under the Others category.

The statistics were revealed by Fiji Network Plus (FJN+) communication and advocacy officer Joe Colati.

Of the total registered, 375 cases were through heterosexual means, four through homosexual transmission and one case was transmitted through body piercing. 38 cases were mother to child transmissions.

AIDS organisations in the country will be celebrating a candlelight memorial service this Sunday, May 20 and Mr Colati urged communities, faith and political leaders to fight discrimination through the protection of affected groups.

"Communities around the world face HIV-related stigma, discrimination and human rights violations, particularly people living with HIV and key affected populations such as men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers and young people," Mr Colati said.

He said the voices of people living with the disease also needed to be incorporated into policy construction and program implementation. The Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation group is also calling for greater support from our communities for the fight against HIV and AIDS.





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