20 Mar 2013

SPC to work on new ways to curb STI spread

4:27 pm on 20 March 2013

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community's HIV team leader says reducing gender-based violence and improving access to testing and treatment remain challenges for the region.

The SPC has begun discussions in the region on forming a Pacific-led strategy from next year.

Dr Dennie Iniakwala says regional studies show some improvements to prevalence levels of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in some countries, but not in others.

"We know that there are countries in the region (that) shows a most intense high number, or high prevalence, of gender based violence and that also is one of the fuelling factors in terms of spreading of STI including HIV."

Dr Dennie Iniakwala says the current regional strategy outlining measures to combat HIV and STIs expires in December.