THE President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau encouraged students to learn more about HIV/AIDS this week in the Central Division because the division recorded 70 per cent of new cases last year.
Ratu Epeli said HIV/AIDS education should begin at home and that it should start with parents.
Students were encouraged to communicate openly with their parents to effectively understand about HIV/AIDS.
"Your parents have the responsibility to teach you the facts of life and how HIV/AIDS is very much a factor in our society," Ratu Epeli said.
He said for the past 30 years HIV/AIDS had become part of society and people should act to eradicate this disease.
"We can still fight this deadly disease if we combine efforts with families, communities and society," he said.
"Stigmatisation and discrimination among people living with the disease remains a global concern and one that Fiji is strongly addressing.
"We need more advocacy programs with families and health centres should provide more awareness to communities and to reach out to those in the outer islands."
Dilkusha Methodist High School principal Mereoni Motieliu urged the Education Ministry to strengthen the awareness programs on HIV/AIDS in the school curriculum.
"Talking about HIV/AIDS is still a sensitive issue at our homes because of traditional taboo, however, we need to change our perspective towards this issue because the younger generation are victims," she said.
Mrs Motieliu reiterated the president's statements and encouraged parents to talk with their children and become advocates at home and in their own society.
Ratu Epeli also visited Saraswati College on Friday.