CAPTION: His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau meets students of Wainibuka Secondary School.

Making HIV/AIDS awareness programs accessible is an important tool to combat this global epidemic, especially if addressed within rural communities.

Today His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau visited students at Wainibuka Secondary and Naiyala High School in the Tailevu province and spoke about HIV/AIDS and its ill effects.

“We must talk about this in our homes and with our parents. Parents must start talking about HIV/AIDS to their children so they are aware about this deadly virus.”

His Excellency said the hard yards being put in by Government and those advocating for greater responsibilities by individuals when dealing with HIV and AIDS will continue to intensify but more support is now needed by individuals.

“For the first 6 months alone in 2012, numbers grew to 30 new cases and the Ministry of Health is currently verifying numbers for the second half of the year but this does not mean that we can rest,” the President, who is also the United Nations Ambassador for HIV/AIDS in the Pacific said.

“They rested their laurels in Uganda and numbers shot up in a short time so that is why we (Fijians) should also be open when dealing about this (HIV/AIDS) issue.”

“The Fijian Government is currently footing bills for HIV/AIDS and we (Fijians) must always commend Government for its approach in taking a stand for those living with HIV/AIDS,” Ratu Epeli said.

“Make sure that we all talk about this because until a cure is found – HIV/AIDS is here to stay and all we can do is make sure that we are all safe and you, our future leaders, make a stand against HIV/AIDS.”


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