24 Mar 2005

Fighting HIV more difficult if it takes hold of young, says Solomons doctor

7:00 pm on 24 March 2005

The unit of the Solomon Islands government tasked with fighting HIV/Aids is warning the virus must be stamped out before it reaches young people.

The health minister, Benjamin Una, yesterday launched a national five-year plan to fight the disease.

The National Aids Council member Dr George Malefoasi says the plan will empower community organisations in dealing directly with young people and girls involved in prostitution.

"Our concern is the ages, that is 25 and below, or teenagers or young or very young people, because we have a fear now that once this thing goes, reach the young people, we may have a difficulty in controlling the spread."

Dr Malefoasi says there are at least six confirmed cases, and up to 60 people could now be infected.