How Many HIV-Positive People Does It Take to Create an Epidemic in Tuvalu?

Tuvalu, the picturesque South Pacific island nation best known for the domain name .tv, has 11 HIV-positive citizens, according to UNICEF. With a full-time population of just 9,000 people, that means 1.2 0.12 percent of the entire country has HIV, putting it on “the verge of reaching a general epidemic amongst its population,” a la Papua New Guinea. So: HIV and raising coastlines are pretty big problems these days. [AAP]

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  • Kevin

    Why are you being so flippant over this story? Because Tuvalu has a small population, it’s somehow funny that over 1% of the population has HIV? I’m not following. 9000 is a mid-sized college in America. You wouldn’t be concerned if “only” 11 students had HIV? I sure would. In a side note, the spread of the disease among such a small population would make for a fascinating and informative research paper, don’t you think? Get on it, grad students!

  • ZJ

    Wouldn’t 11 out of 9000 actually be 0.12%?

  • Daniel

    The real question is: how many citizens of Tuvalu have been tested? It may be that 11 people out of a very small number actually tested may be HIV positive. So it may indeed be an epidemic if the overall testing numbers are low but the positive results are high. Just think of the USA or most African countries, places where numbers of positives are high and testing numbers are low, so lots of people, regardless of sexual orientation, have HIV and don’t know it.


    How long till some American “religious” persons find their way to Tuvalu in an attempt to rewrite the laws to enact a death penalty for those folks????

  • Hamoboy

    I wish queerty would stop writing about polynesians… First of all the writer fails at basic math, then the commenters have no clue about polynesian culture, like how homosexuality is an acceptable part of the culture, unlike puritanical americans… Also,@No. 4, no they don’t have the death penalty for anything, why would they start killing HIV-positive people?? Just because you’re living in a poor country doesn’t make you dumb (typing this out in Samoa)…

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