The Fiji Times » One death of person with HIV’ COVID-19 not the reason

Fiji recorded one death of a person living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) who was diagnosed with COVID- 19.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said the death was not because of COVID- 19.

He also said several persons living with HIV who were diagnosed with COVID-19 were supported and had fully recovered.

He made the statements while receiving $570,482 worth of antiretroviral medicine from Atlanta Medicare Company Ltd of Thailand.

The Australian government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, also donated pediatric HIV drugs and freight amounting to $9287.

UNAIDS contributed $77,846 in air freight costs.

Dr Waqainabete said as the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic, health workers ensured services for people with chronic diseases, including care for people living with HIV, continued by establishing telemedicine for consultation and delivery of medication.

He added Fiji was in the process of reviewing and adopting Fiji’s HIV testing and counselling strategies and policies.

He said the aim was to achieve zero transmission of HIV from mother to child, which Fiji had achieved at one point in time.

“Also to strengthen the role and functions of the HIV Board in supporting people living with HIV, of which 78 per cent of these individuals are on the life changing HIV medication,” he said.

The given medication will benefit 500 people living with HIV in Fiji – of which more than 40 are children.

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