August 5, 2010
Fiji registered 21 new HIV cases through June this year, prompting Health Ministry officials to call on the entire nation -- including religious groups, parents, and teachers -- to do more to fight AIDS. Forty-three cases were logged in all of 2009 in Fiji, whose population stands at just over 850,000. Dr. Josaia Samuela said Fiji is not eligible for help from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria because the World Bank now classifies it as a high middle-income country. It will, however, continue to seek support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (formerly, the Pacific Island Commission). One approach under discussion is presenting sex education and HIV prevention information to younger students.