26 Oct 2005

Auckland hosts Pan Pacific Aids conference

5:16 pm on 26 October 2005

A New Zealand conference on the high incidence of HIV Aids in the Pacific is hoping to find a way to contain the spread of HIV.

Almost 500 delegates are in Auckland for the Pan Pacific Aids conference that began yesterday.

The conference has been organised by several organisations, including the New Zealand Aids Foundation and the Pacific Islands Aids Foundation.

The NZ Aids Foundation's Steve Atwood says governments in the region need to do more to deal with HIV Aids before it reaches epidemic levels like in Africa.

"The things from the conference have been consistently to call on governments around the Pacific to lift their game as far as providing HIV Aids education, prevention and support and creating legislative support as well. And to deal with discrimination against sexual minorities and in many Pacific nations, women are most vulnerable."

Steve Atwood says he's been told that the region's highest HIV/Aids rates are found in Papua New Guinea and Papua.

The meeting concludes on Friday.