15 Oct 2007

Pacific AIDS Foundation warns of possible HIV epidemic

2:42 pm on 15 October 2007

The executive director of the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation, Maire Bopp, says the Pacific should prepare for an epidemic of the virus.

Regional civil society groups have been meeting in Tonga ahead of this week's leaders summit under the theme of a sustainable Pacific community, and coping with the rising numbers acquiring AIDS was a key part of their discussions.

Maire Bopp says a study out soon will show more precisely the extent but she says the region should think of a cyclone when it considers HIV - that is prepare for the worse and hope for the best.

"Already we know what has happened in PNG and I tend to think in our response to HIV in the Pacific islands we have isolated PNG as if it was something that would stay on its own."

Maire Bopp