26 MAY 2009 HONIARA (Pacnews) ----- The conservative estimate from World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that the HIV infection rate in the Solomon Islands could rise to 350 by year 2010, reports Solomon Star.
This follows 12 reported confirmed cases last year.
In a meeting April last year, the Solomon Islands national AIDS council (SINAC) believed that the number of cases could double in 2008 as there are few HIV and AIDS testing and counselling centres in the country.
A medical report has stated that the number of cases were under-reported.
The health report, however, confirmed that in 1994 there was one case, 2004 four cases, 2005 one, 2006 two, 2007 two and in 2008 two cases.
Health report confirmed the 12 reported cases last year. It shows that female toppled the chart - eight females and four males.
Meanwhile, seven people were now reported living with HIV whilst five have been reported dead.
The health report also stated that sexual transmitted infection (STI) rates, endemic Chlamydia and syphilis, is high among pregnant women.
The report further stated that the low rates of condom use indicate a high vulnerability to HIV in the general population.
Most at risk population includes seafarers and other mobile workers, students, men who have sex with men, and people involved in transactional sex, particularly around rural industries.
The HIV testing is only available in 12 health facilities in the country with relatively low numbers of tests performed.
The ministry of health has work in partnership with the WHO, South Pacific Commission (SPC), AusAid, Save the Children, Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA), World Vision, Oxfam and ADRA, to halt the spread of HIV and other STIs infections….PNS (ENDS)