The Oceania Society of Sexual Health and HIV Medicine President Dr Tenneth Dalipanda has encouraged the general public to test for the deadly disease, HIV.

In an interview with the National Express, Dr Dalipanda said that HIV is a chronic disease like diabetes and the public should not be afraid to be tested.

According to Dr. Dalipanda, diabetes does not have any cure but once treated it can slow the process of multiplying in the body and the person is able to live longer.

Likewise, he said, in the case of HIV once you are tested for HIV and found positive there are treatments available to slow down the process and you can still live longer.

Dr Dalipanda said that they are training health workers on HIV management so that health workers give the right treatments to patients as there are different types of medicines where some have side effects and others are too expensive for patients. In the Solomon Islands people cannot afford to take such expensive medicines.

He stated that the main problem facing Solomon Islanders is the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and because of this, people are not willing to test for HIV.

However, Dr Dalipanda said that the public should not discriminate and stigmatize against people living with HIV because HIV people can still live a normal life.

National Express