His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is calling on communities to come together in addressing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with modern and practical solutions.

The President delivered this key message today at the opening of the Oceania Society for Sexual Health and HIV Medicine Symposium in Suva.

“I want to encourage the participants to seriously consider how we can all add value to the on-going quest to reduce STIs and also have an AIDS-free generation. It is taking too long for all communities to acknowledge that the issues our people face in these modern times require modern and practical solutions,” Ratu Epeli said.

As Fiji’s special representative on HIV and AIDS, Ratu Epeli said he will continue to promote a more practical solution to STIs and HIV, which is the use of protection such as condoms, to the age groups between 14 to 29 and 30 to 39.

Ratu Epeli said communities in the Pacific need to accept the reality that STIs and HIV are worldwide epidemics, part and parcel of societal changes.

“We in Oceania have the smallest number of HIV cases however, this should not mean we can be complacent. Let us take immediate action to synchronize our efforts to find holistic, pragmatic and sustainable solutions to help save lives of our young people from STIs and HIV.”

The symposium, organized by the Oceania Society for Sexual Health and HIV Medicine (OSSHHM) and Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, is a first for regional participants aimed at learning from lessons and new research in the area of HIV and AIDS.

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