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Fiji Urged to Intensify AIDS Fight

The Fiji government has been urged to redouble its efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS. //

The call from UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, comes after Fiji's Ministry of Health released figures showing an increase in the number of people living with HIV and AIDS, reported Fijilive Thursday.

The figures show that there were 36 new cases in 2006 compared to 25 in 2005 and four cases in 1996.

UNAIDS Pacific program Coordinator, Stuart Watson said Wednesday because the overall HIV prevalence rates remain low in the Pacific, the sense of urgency for action has yet to reach fever pitch.

Watson said UNAIDS acknowledges the Fiji Government's commitment to fight HIV and AIDS.

"We hope the Interim Government will not reduce the budget for HIV and AIDS. Finance is one component of the fight, we also require unprecedented cooperation, coordination and a framework for moving together at country level," he said.

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