Save the Children Australia (SCA) in the Solomon Islands is expanding its HIV and AIDS awareness programs to hotels and motels operating in and around Honiara, in an effort to contain the spread of the HIV and AIDS virus believed to be spreading at a high rate in the country.

This follows the recent signing of an MOU by SCA, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and business houses.

Under the MOU the SCA, the government through the MHMS and business houses have reaffirmed their commitment to fighting against HIV/Aids in the country.

The three parties are working on various tools of campaign including the provision of educational awareness logos, printed sheets, posters; and as well as stickers in hotels and motels.

The HIV/AIDS prevention team within the SCA is being tasked to implement the program under a HIV/Aids prevention project.

In a meeting conducted by the staff of the SCA for hotel and motel owners last Friday, representatives of the SCA head office in Chinatown briefed hotel and motel owners about the program that will be conducted in their respective work places.

The HIV/AIDs Project Manager, Casper Supa has explained that the idea of the awareness is to get educational materials such as posters and stickers place them inside motel/hotel bedrooms, along the corridors or even at the reception desk.

Mr. Supa told the meeting that the program was the first of its kind to be introduced into hotels and motels in the country and owners have already indicated their willingness to support the project.

According to Supa the program was designed to educate and to remind hotel and motel users of HIV and AIDS risks.

According to the SCA's Country's Program Director Ramesh Puri, these are steps that SCA, the government and hotel and motel owners boldly takes, in their fight to contain the spread of the deadly HIV and AIDS virus.

Director Puri said the awareness program which they sought to have in hotels and motels in the country has been tested in Papua New Guinea recently and it was proven to be very effective.

"Fighting against the spread of HIV and AIDS need the cooperation of everybody, stakeholders, business houses and the government," says Mr. Puri.

At least twenty two (22) business houses like hotel/motels, taxi networks and others signed the MOU and according to Supa they have assured them that they are committed to the program.

National Express