A recent estimate from the World Health Organization says that the number of HIV cases in the Solomon Islands could reach at least 350 by 2010, the Solomon Star News reports.
The Star News reports that 12 new HIV cases were confirmed in 2008, although the actual number of new cases could be higher because of unreported cases. Of the 12 cases reported in 2008, eight were among women and four were among men, according to a health report.
In addition, sexually transmitted infections, particularly syphilis and chlamydia, are prevalent among pregnant women in the country and overall condom use is low, indicating that people could be at a high risk for HIV, according to the report. The most at-risk populations include mobile workers, commercial sex workers, students and men who have sex with men. Twelve facilities in the country currently offer HIV tests, and a relatively low number of tests are conducted, according to the Star News. The Ministry of Health has partnered with various groups and agencies to address HIV/AIDS in the country, the Star News reports (Carter, Solomon Star News, 5/26).