As drug usage surges in the nation, the Ministry of Health is growing increasingly alarmed about the issue of needle sharing, which has led to a rise in blood-borne diseases.
In 2022, Fiji documented 245 new cases of HIV, and there is a concern that some individuals may have transmitted these diseases through the sharing of used needles.
Dr. Rachel Devi, Head of Family Health, highlights that cases of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are on the upswing in the country.
“And I know a number of people, probably lots of people out there, have found it on the streets as well as the beaches, and if that needle is used by one individual who is HIV-infected and another one comes in and uses the same needle, because it’s going inside the blood, you are immediately transmitting any blood-borne disease.”
Dr Devi is urging people to not share needles and also to get tested for HIV and other blood-borne diseases for early detection and intervention.