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President queries 2013 AIDS figures

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PRESIDENT Ratu Epeli Nailatikau believes those responsible for tallying the number of HIV/AIDS cases reported around the country last year may be "sleeping on the job".

"Twenty-eight days into the new year and the ministry does not have the relevant figures of cases from 2013," he said.

"We still do not have figures of HIV/AIDS from last year because there is someone who is sleeping on the job and not doing their job out there."

He made the comment while speaking to students of Labasa Sangam College during his HIV/AIDS awareness campaign yesterday

Ratu Epeli added that with HIV/AIDS one would want to know the bad news as soon as possible and not wait around and have to ask for information.

"Fiji is still rated a low HIV/AIDS prevalence country but the occurrence of HIV has been increasing steadily since the country's first case in 1989," he said.

"In the last four years, the nation recorded 43 cases in 2009, while 33 cases were reported in 2010, 54 cases for 2011 and 62 cases for 2012.

"Now out of the combined total of 116 cases in 2011 and 2012, 100 were from the iTaukei population, while 11 cases were in the Fijians of Indian decent populace and 4 in the others category."

Ratu Epeli said 70 per cent of the 62 cases from 2012 were from the Central and the Western divisions within the provinces of Rewa and Tailevu.

"In December 2012 there were a cumulative total of 482 registered cases of people living with HIV out of which 243 were males and 232 females while seven were unknown.

"The majority of the cases were from the Central Division followed by the Western Division and the Northern Division."

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