506 have HIV in Fiji, 38 are children
September 27, 2021 6:26 pm
The Ministry of Health today received over $570,000 worth of anti-retroviral drugs for people living with HIV.
The donation by UNAIDS will go towards supporting 506 people living with HIV in Fiji including 38 children.
Minister for Health, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete reveals that several people with HIV were diagnosed with COVID-19 but lucky enough, the advancement of treatment saved them.
Dr. Waqainabete says one person with HIV contracted COVID-19 and died.
“Several people with HIV were also diagnosed with COVID-19, they were supported and have fully recovered. Fiji recorded one death of an HIV patient who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and this death was not due to COVID-19.”
Dr. Waqainabete says the Ministry is in the process of relooking at its strategic guidance and policies to further strengthen its HIV program.
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says Fiji’s fight in the curbing of HIV was not at its best pre-COVID-19 and has become more secondary since the pandemic began last year.
“The HIV response in Fiji was not at its best even before the COVID-19 pandemic but the collision of COVID-19 and HIV has set it back further, we need to rejuvenate our HIV programs.”
Ratu Epeli says Fiji is in the top five countries which has rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region, especially among the 15 to 24-year age group.
He adds this puts Fiji ahead of other Pacific Island countries and is thus a cause for great concern.