9 Dec 2002

American Samoan health officials warn against laxity over AIDS

7:00 am on 9 December 2002

Health officials in American Samoa are warning against complacency in the effort to prevent the spread of AIDS and the virus which causes the disease.

Health authorities have put out radio and television broadcasts to promote aids awareness but say the general feeling in the community is that it's not a problem in the territory.

But, Salausa Dr John Ah Ching says local residents are constantly travelling to neighbouring islands and to countries where the disease is prevalent putting the territory at risk.

Six AIDS deaths have been recorded but these were patients who contracted the disease overseas.

The health department is presently treating two people diagnosed with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS.