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99 HIV Cases In The North

99 HIV Cases In The North
Dr Waisale Turuva during National Substance Abuse Advisory Council training of trainers workshop at the Kshatriya Hall in Labasa on July 2,201. Photo: SHratika Naidu
August 03
10:00 2018

Dr Turuva has noted a fast increase in the number of cases this year.

 

A doctor based in the Northern Division has noted with concern the number of people there contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which over time leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

However, Northern Reproductive Health Clinic acting senior medical officer Doctor Waisale Turuva is thankful that more people are coming forward and agreeing to get tested for the disease.

He made the comment during a Ministry of Education National Substance Abuse Advisory Council training of trainers’ workshop at Kshatriya Hall in Labasa yesterday.

Dr Turuva, who manages the clinic, revealed that 99 people in the division – encompassing the provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata – are suffering from HIV. This is approximately 0.08 per cent of the Northern Division’s total population of 131,918 people, according to figures in the 2017 national census.

“Out of the 99, 38 are adult and one is a child who is in care,” Dr Turuva said.

“In care means the ones who are coming for clinic and are on medication regularly.”

The 38 adults are between the ages of 21 and 60. Dr Turuva declined to give details of the other 60 cases, who make up 60.61 per cent of the total number of sufferers.

“We have noted a fast increase in the number of cases this year,” he said.

“The awareness conducted by the team could be one of the contributing factors encouraging people to seek help from us.

“My advice to the teachers and students is to be more aware that HIV is there and it is not a killer disease. There is treatment for it, they can live longer and have children who can be born without HIV.”

Dr Turuva expects the number of sufferers to increase as more people come forward and he has assured the public that cases under the clinic’s care will be treated with utmost confidentiality.

“There are some people out there who are scared and don’t want to come forward to get help because they think it is a killer disease,” he said.

“This mentality needs to change. Only then will our prevention programmes work.”

The clinic is located beside the Nasea Health Centre in the Labasa Town area and does not operate on a door-to-door, but instead encourages members of the public to walk, receive advice and counselling and get tested.

Dr Turuva says if schools or communities need awareness they can contact the Divisional Medical Officer Northern.

The four-day workshop ended yesterday.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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