85.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 24, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. RANKS FIFTH IN NATION FOR HIV/AIDS CASES

V.I. RANKS FIFTH IN NATION FOR HIV/AIDS CASES

A two-day conference aimed at sizing up the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region concludes Friday but the presentations on Thursday revealed new information about who is affected by the disease and how rapidly it has spread.
Dr. Cora Christian of the VI Medical Institute was one of several presenters in the opening of the conference. She noted a dramatic increase in instances of the disease over the last 20 years.
"Full blown AIDS cases have risen from eight cases in 1983 to over 400 cases in 1999."
Of the new cases 72 percent of the increase was in males and 28 percent in females.
The Virgin Islands case rate is almost twice the national average, presenters said, quoting from figures released by the National Institutes of Health.
Figures through June 1999, released from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show the V.I. ranks fifth in the nation in incidence of AIDS cases per capita.
Christian called on Virgin Islanders to face the facts about the disease and its victims, and at the same time promote safe sex.
"We need to develop a view of the disease that helps solve the problem, rather than treating its victims like lepers," she said.
She said though St. Thomas has 49 percent of the population it has 62 percent of
active AIDS cases, but St. Croix has 70 percent of the teenagers showing up with HIV/ AIDS.
Participants, which included health care workers, government leaders, educators and religious leaders heard that denial about AIDS is still commonplace with those who are most affected by it. The "Heightening Awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean Region" conference is being held at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort.
Other speakers included: Health Commissioner Wilbur Callender, Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christiansen and Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus.
A motivational speaker, funny man Paul Keen-Douglas,ended the day's events on Thursday. The morning sessions were beamed via satellite from St. Thomas to other Caribbean islands including Barbados, Bahamas, and Trinidad where similar conferences are being held. More than 2,000 persons registered at the conference in all locations. On St. Thomas, about 650 persons were registered by midday Thursday.
Rounding out the day's speakers on Friday will be noted St. Croix physician, Dr. Olaf "Bronco" Hendricks.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.



STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,750FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Error: Server configuration issue