Fijians urged to get tested for HIV

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete outside Parliament. Picture: FT FILE/SUPPLIED

MINISTER For Health and Medical Services Dr Iferemi Waqainabete has called on Fijians to come out of their comfort zones and get tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

He made this call while speaking at the World AIDS Day event at the Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva yesterday.

“HIV is not a death sentence, treatment has been a game changer in this,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“I leave today challenging all Fijians to not do business as usual. To move out of our comfort zones and step up in our overall response to HIV in Fiji.

“We need to step up and step out to make the difference the country needs.”

The first case in the world was in 1981, he said for Fiji it was eight years later in 1989.

As the world marked World AIDS Day, Dr Waqainabete said it was important for people to get tested in order to know their status whether they were positive with HIV so that they would be able to get treated.

“Today, we celebrate 30 years of success towards reducing new HIV infections, reducing AIDS-related deaths, preventing mother to child transmission, reducing stigma and discrimination, increasing diagnosis and treatment and giving a positive note to life.”

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