Ministry targets high-risk groups in fight against H.I.V.
As part of the commemoration of World Aids Day in Samoa last week, the Ministry of Health invited representatives from rugby clubs in Upolu and Savai’i to a forum to discuss ways to prevent H.I.V./Aids.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said the gathering and discussion focused on high risk groups such as sports teams who often travel between countries for competitions.
“We want to engage with people going overseas on a regular basis. We’ve also held a similar session with people chosen to go on the seasonal workers scheme.” The C.E.O said the sessions are about promoting safe sex and getting participants to always have regular checks for S.T.Ds and other sex-related issues.
“If we suppress the virus at an early stage, the virus will not survive, because there are other viruses that can take time and it’s very contagious.”
Historically, Samoa has had 20 cases of people living with HIV/Aids. Eleven are alive.
Because of the low number, Samoa is no longer eligible for global funding allocated to countries to combat H.I.V.
“Although today is mainly focused on the H.I.V. Aids, we also add sexually transmitted treatments (S.T.I) because it is possible someone can get both S.T.I and HIV.”