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Fiji Time: 4:09 AM on Friday 25 April

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Fighting HIV at workplaces

Maciu Malo
Saturday, March 23, 2013

THE alarming increase in HIV cases is of national interest and everyone has a part to play in combating this deadly disease.

This was the comment made by International Labour Organization (ILO) HIV project officer Surkara Katafono during the Pacific Island Workplaces Combating HIV workshop held in Lautoka earlier this week.

The workshop was aimed at educating dockworkers and hotel workers with the sole objective of combating HIV at workplaces.

Ms Katafono also confirmed that 62 new cases were recorded in 2012 compared to the 420 recorded at the commencement of last year.

Organised by the ILO, Red Cross and the Labour Ministry, Ms Katafono said the dockworkers, port terminal officers and hotel workers were some of the few organisations vulnerable to exposure when it came to HIV and the spread of the disease.

"We are concerned with the alarming increase of HIV cases in Fiji," she said.

"A total of 62 new cases recorded in Fiji in 2012 and the fight against the disease is everybody's business.

"We are now targeting workplaces because this is the place where school leavers end up.

"So this workshop is to combat HIV and for the participants to spread the gospel of HIV awareness."

Ms Katafono said the aim of the workshop was also to facilitate the inclusion of awareness programs into organisation policy.

About 25 participants attended the workshop.