By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI
PAPUA New Guinea continues to lead Pacific Island nations as the country with the highest number of HIV/AIDS carriers in the region, a conference in Nadi, Fiji was told yesterday.
The National understands that the latest figures released by the PNG National AIDS Council in Port Moresby two weeks ago showed that there are now more than 8,000 reported cases in the country with an evenly split number of female and females affected.
Fiji based lawyer Chaitanya Lakshman said when releasing the figures that most of the most of the new cases of infected mothers diagnosed with the virus during pregnancies when they attended antenatal clinics.
He said prevalence is over one per cent among pregnant women in Port Moresby, Goroka and Lae.
Figures of other island nations with HIV/AIDS cases are: New Caledonia with the second highest figure (after PNG) with 263, followed by French Polynesia with 229, Guam 168, Fiji 142, Northern Mariana Islands 25, Federated States of Micronesia 14, Tonga 13, Samoa 12, Marshall Islands 9, Tuvalu 9, Palau 4, Wallis and Futuna, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and American Samoa two each, Cook Islands and Nauru one each and none in Tokelau, Pitcairne and Niue.