The Ministry of Health says it’s deeply concerned about an alarming increase in the number of news cases of HIV and AIDS in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Officials say some thirty people have tested positive for the virus in the first five months of this year alone.
That’s compared to sixty-one recorded cases for the whole of 2014.
Twenty-two of the new cases recorded this year are male while eight are female. The victims range in age between 20 and 49 years old.
Ferrosa Roache – the Director of the HIV/AIDS Unit in the Ministry of Health – says the figures are alarming.
Miss Roache says the main mode of HIV transmission in St Vincent and the Grenadines is through heterosexual and bisexual contact.
She adds that there are several reasons which may be contributing to the dramatic rise in new cases, including poverty and discrimination.
Health officials warn that the new HIV figures, while alarming, may represent just the tip of the iceberg saying that the real number could be much higher.