12 Oct 2004

Pacific countries warned to act urgently over HIV/AIDS

7:39 am on 12 October 2004

Pacific Island countries have been warned to act now to tackle HIV/AIDS before it is too late.

The United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS, Dr Nafiz Sadiq, has told South Pacific parliamentarians at a meeting in Suva that the disease poses the greatest threat to the survival of their countries.

Dr Sadiq says the consequences of HIV/AIDS will not be felt now but in 10 to 15 years when it will be too late.

She says this has already happened in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Caribbean which are very similar to the Pacific.

Dr Sadiq says the leadership of the Pacific should wake up to this epidemic and act now to take preventative action.

The Suva meeting is focussing on the role of parliamentarians in the fight against HIV/AIDS