Antigua and Barbuda is reporting that new HIV cases have almost tripled in that country for the first quarter of 2016.

It says 21 new patients have tested positive for the virus.

The statistics collected from the Mount St John’s Medical Centre and submitted to the AIDS Secretariat indicate the cases were confirmed between January 1 and March 3.

AIDS Programme Manager Delcora Williams said the statistics suggest the messages of abstinence, protection and monogamy are not being heeded.

Ms. Williams says the secretariat only received the statistics yesterday, and she has not had an opportunity to properly assess the findings.

She met with mid-wives yesterday to look at ways of ensuring all stakeholders are on the same path to eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV.

Ms. Williams says the intention is to continue targeting those who are at risk for contracting the virus.