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Voluntary testing encouraged

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PERMANENT secretary (PS) of the ministry of health and medical services (MHMS), Dr Lester Ross yesterday encouraged the general public to undergo voluntary test for HIV and Aids.

Dr Ross was speaking at the world aids day celebrations yesterday in Honiara.

Dr Ross stressed the importance of getting tested, especially with the increasing number of HIV cases diagnosed.

“It is important that people get tested for HIV/Aids so that once the results are positive, then we can start treatment as soon as possible.

“At this stage and rate it is still manageable, as we have all the necessary facilities and medical supplies that can manage this disease.

“It’s not like other countries that with such big numbers, hospitals will not be able to treat patients with HIV,” Dr Ross said.

Solomon Islands this year recorded three new cases, bringing it to a total of 20 cases since its first diagnoses in 1994.

“Out of the 20 people living with HIV/Aids, nine have died, whilst others are either continuing or have just started treatment,” Dr Ross said.

He added to that 20 cases may be the recorded figure however it would mean more than 2000 are living with the virus in the country but are not aware of it unless they get themselves tested.

By Jeremy Inifiri