Monday, 6 February 2012 7:26 AM

HIV/AIDS Scare!

Solomon Islands have experienced a near doubling of confimred HIV/AIDS cases, in the last two years alone it has recorded 12.

Almost every developing country has experienced a drastic increase in recorded HIV/AIDS cases in recent times.

Officials within the ministry of health say that the actual number could be much higher.

"Research has shown that developing countries often have poor reach when it comes to testing, and people simply do not see the need to get tested," said an HIV/AIDS health specialist at the ministry.

"What we find is that those within what we call the high risk category continue to expose themselves to risky behavior, which puts others at risk."

She says that Solomon Islands are now more susceptible to the deadly disease, particularly with todays increased connectivity.

"Look we should be careful, we are now more connected to the outside world, air transportation and technology has become cheaper and more accessible, which unfortunately creates an enabling environment."

She confirmed that a foreign national was tested positive for HIV after arriving in the country last year, and displaying symptoms.

"We are not ready," she said. "This killer disease has the potential to wipe out a whole generation, the threat is very real."

She says that poverty in developing countries such as the Solomon Islands has blocked the development of adequate health care facilities and the purchase of HIV/AIDS medicines, even at drastically reduced prices.

One estimate of the cost for HIV/AIDS drugs for an individual is USD$12,000 or more per year.

The health specialist says that any response to HIV/AIDS needs to be of greater duration, greater quality, and greater scope to reach the many areas of life which HIV/AIDS touches and affects.

"We must continue to work together with other more developed countries, and by utilizing multiple approaches...it will certainly enhance the ability of our little country to cope with the disease."

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