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Press Release September 3, 1999

"The time for being coy about human sexuality has passed," says Lindsay Daines, of the HIV/AIDS and STD Program of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

"With AIDS now the 4th biggest cause of death worldwide, it is essential that everyone is aware of the dangers and that we support people to undertake behavior change.

That is why a major part of the workshop focuses on the topic "Talking About Sex".

Mr. Daines was referring to the forthcoming workshop at the Vanuatu Maritime College on Espiritu Santo beginning next week on the topic of HIV prevention and care. This train-the-trainers meeting will focus on trainers who deliver HIV education in the maritime colleges of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and is part of a two-year project conducted by SPC, funded generously by New Zealand Overseas Development Aid (NZODA).

Pacific seafarers, because of their long periods away from home and other factors, are at increased risk of HIV infection.

In response to this, maritime colleges in the Pacific Islands have incorporated a compulsory section on HIV and STDs into their new curriculum.

In support of this new curriculum, SPC has developed a project that includes peer education and resource production as well as training the trainers.

Workshops have already been conducted for trainers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu. A recent follow up visit to Kavieng in PNG met with enthusiastic responses from young students and staff at the National Fisheries College.

For additional information, contact: Wendy Armstrong HIV/AIDS and STD Project Coordinator Secretariat of the Pacific Community Email: WendyA@spc.org.nc


Sarah Langi English Editor Secretariat of the Pacific Community BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex New Caledonia Tel: +687 26 01 96 Email: SarahL@spc.org.nc

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