Thursday, 4 December 2008 12:13 PM

Media Must Talk More on HIV: Dupont

The HIV and AIDS workshop for Solomon Islands Media Organizations was of special significance to participants when Ms. Maire Bopp Dupont, the Pacific Islands face of HIV and AIDS advocacy made a presentation.

Ms. Dupont, who is living with HIV, stated that she wants media organizations in the Solomon Islands to talk more about HIV and AIDS in the country.

She added that, with only 12 confirmed cases for the Solomon Islands, it is still in the early stages for people to do something about it.

She stated that Papua New Guinea, with 18,000 cases holds the highest number of HIV cases in the Pacific.

"About 20 years ago, PNG went through exactly what Solomon Islands are currently facing," she added.

Ms. Dupont points out that the media, leaders and people of the country should be thinking about the future of the country and do something about HIV now also adding that "we must also have great concerns for those living with HIV."

She stated that a total of 2,000 cases are recorded in other Pacific countries, with Solomon Islands being the lowest. According to Ms. Dupont, PNG records 115 HIV cases every month.

She encouraged the media to play a major role in providing the correct information on HIV and AIDS to Solomon Islanders. She espcially told the media to encourage people to come forward for the Voluntary Counseling and Confidential Testing (VCCT).

Ms. Dupont believed that, with the current stage Solomon Islands is in, if something is done now, "Solomon Islands will be successful."