Urgent Action Required as Fiji Faces Alarming Surge in HIV Infections

Over the past decade, HIV infections in Fiji have increased by 129%, placing the country among the top five worldwide with the fastest-growing rates of infection, health authorities say.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, Fiji ranks second in terms of infection rates.

In 2022, reported cases in Fiji surged by almost 100%, with 245 individuals testing positive, compared to 151 cases the previous year. Among these cases, 14 involved children aged four or younger, highlighting the vulnerability of this age group to HIV.

In that year, Fiji marked a new record for HIV-related deaths, with 46 fatalities, surpassing both the regional and national highest numbers.

During the parliamentary debate on the 2023-2024 Budget, Minister for Health Dr. Atonio Lalabalavu said the stats are alarming, underscoring the urgent need for action to address Fiji’s situation.

In response, the government has allocated $200,000 to the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programme for the 2023-2024 financial year, representing an increase of almost 122% in funding.

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