The National HIV Aids Council has now confirmed 17 positive HIV cases in the country.

The Council says it is in the process of releasing more information about the growth rate of HIV Aids infection rates in the country.

Leading the team of researchers is Dr Iniakwala, a Solomon Islander working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities (SPC).

Dr Iniakwala has warned that there is high risk of more Solomon Islanders contracting the HIV Aids virus "unless the fight against HIV Aids and sexually transmitted infections are collective and consistent."

"There is certainly a correlation between high rates of sexually transmitted infections and high rates of HIV Aids."

Dr Iniakwala says in such a situation the risks of more people contracting the HIV Aids virus just becomes greater.

He says that the rate of increase and prevalence of STIs in Melanesia is very high compared to the Polynesian and Micronesian sub-Regions, even if PNG is excluded.

He says the risk of Solomon Islanders contracting the HIV Aids virus has increased dramatically in recent times because of the increased movement of people in and out of the country.

He also says certain misconceptions about the virus, and the fact that such issues are still considered taboo, has helped fuel the increase.