26 Sep 2002

Vanuatu admits it has an AIDs victim while Marshalls report first case in ten years

4:36 pm on 26 September 2002

The Vanuatu prime minister, Edward Natapei, has confirmed that the country has had its first reported case of HIV.

The first case involves a woman from a small island in the Shefa province who is reported to have contracted the disease while overseas.

Meanwhile an HIV infection has also been diagnosed in the Marshall Islands, the first such case in 10 years.

The person who contracted the disease is from Ebeye, the second largest island in the Marshalls.

The HIV-positive patient was identified through regular hospital screening and it is believed to have been infected on Ebeye.

Ebeye is home to about 11-thousand residents, many of whom work at the neighbouring US Army missile range at Kwajalein.

The Marshall Islands has had nine previous HIV cases.