By Vasinatta Yama, EM TV – Port Moresby
Yesterday marked World AIDS Day, with the theme for 2015 being ‘Know your Status, get tested and live longer’.
The NCD Committee commemorated the day at Sir John Guise stadium.
All stakeholders, partners and business houses that attended the ceremony emphasised the need for people to get tested and know their status.
Currently, over 30,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, and close to 20,000 people are receiving lifelong treatment in PNG.
The PNG death toll related to the virus sits is 12,000 since 2004. Globally, more than 35 million people have died. For PNG, each year 2,000 new cases are reported.
The National AIDS Strategy 2011-2017 targets UNAIDS 90-90-90 by 2020, and ending the epidemic by 2030.
That’s 90 per cent of people infected are known, tested, and are treated as a national response to HIV/AIDS.
According to National AIDS Council Director, Peter Bire, lack of finance and awareness has prevented the rural population to have access to HIV/AIDS treatments, information, and prevalence.
Maura Elaripe, a person living with AIDS for 18 years, says every day is seen as World AIDS Day to people like her.
She said HIV/AIDS is losing its momentum because of financial constraints.
Other stakeholders and partners calls for an up-to-date information to be made available for all Papua New Guineans to access.