Examining Social, Economic Impact Of HIV In Pacific
Examining the social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS in Pacificcountries could help improve the lives of those affected by the diseasein the region, Langi Kavaliku, chair of the Commission of AIDS in thePacific, said recently at the commission's inaugural meeting in Fiji,the Pacific News Agency Service reports.
Themeeting aims to determine how the newly formed commission can be mosteffective at fighting HIV/AIDS in the region, Stuart Watson, UNAIDS coordinator for the Pacific Islands, said (Pacific News Agency Service,11/27). According to Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau -- Fiji's interimminister for labor, tourism and environment -- about 75,000 people inthe region are living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 14,000 new caseswere diagnosed in 2006.
Rounds-Ganilau at the meeting saidthat efforts to fight the virus in the Pacific have been ineffectiveand that "revved-up programs energized by bold leadership and acommitted drive for social mobilization" are needed to fight HIV.Countries in the region also should honor their commitments to meet theUnited Nations Millennium Development Goals, Rounds-Ganilau added (Fiji Times,11/27). Members of the commission at the meeting will compileinformation on HIV prevalence in the region, discuss prevention andtreatment efforts, and examine the need for political leaders andcommunity-based groups to work together, Kavaliku said. Thecommission's findings will be summarized in a future UNAIDS report, headded (Pacific News Agency Service, 11/27).
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