20 Jun 2006

HIV/Aids now being discussed as security issue in the Pacific

7:45 pm on 20 June 2006

The Pacific Islands Forum is following the lead of the United Nations in discussing HIV/Aids as a security threat.

The issue has been up for discussion at a meeting of Pacific security officials in Fiji for the first time.

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin, says it is important for Pacific Island countries to be aware of the changing nature of security threats, so that they can work together to address them.

Dr Joachim Pantamari, who works for the National Aids Council Secretariat in Papua New Guinea, says the disease can be seen as a threat to the life and well being of any neighbouring population

"When people move they transport or migrate with the virus, when they migrate into another country or region they infect others and this becomes a sort of genocide situation - infecting and killing people or popultaions in in another country."