60,000 with HIV in South Pacific: United Nations

The Joint United NationsProgramme on HIV/AIDS estimates that up to 60,000 people living withthe HIV virus inthe Pacific Region includin PNG; and it has moverd to help arrestthe virus from spreading.

The Public Health Division for the Secretariat has secured funds to continuethe supply of Anti-retroviral drugs or ARV’s. ARV’s stoppedthe multiplication ofthe virus and stopsthe progress ofthe disease.

Secretariat ofthe Pacific Community saysthe new agreement ensures that Pacific Islanders living with HIV have uninterrupted access to life-saving drugs, despite recent global and regional cuts in funding for HIV and AIDS.

The cost to ofthe antiretroviral drugs will be borne bythe Response Fund, supported by Australian and New Zealand Aid Programmes.

It’saysthe agreement gives people living with HIV peace of mind as partners continuethe programme on HIV and ther STI’s inthe Pacific.

Back home, according tothe National AIDS Council more than thirty three thousand people now live with HIV in Papua New Guinea

The good news for People Living With HIV comes at a time when funding to NACS has dropped from K16 million to K3 million withthe rest diverted to DSIP Funding. 

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TBrand Malaria which is managed by SPC is due to close in June this year.

Beidgette Komatep, National EMTV News

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