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International News

Fiji Sets Up Special Unit to Combat HIV/AIDS

January 25, 2011

Fiji's Labor Ministry has created a dedicated HIV/AIDS unit as part of its National Occupational Health and Safety & Workers Compensation Service, officials said Friday. The unit will assist people living with HIV/AIDS, engage in targeted awareness campaigns, and train high-risk populations about HIV prevention.

While HIV prevalence is comparatively low in Fiji by global standards, annual diagnoses grew exponentially from four in 1989 to 333 in 2009, said Labor Minister Filipe Bole. In a good sign, antiretroviral treatment is high among those eligible, he noted.

Persons at greatest risk of infection are residents ages 30 to 49. That those most affected are in their prime earning years highlights the importance of workplace prevention strategies, Bole said.

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