By Judith Kasek – EM TV, Port Moresby
The National Aids Council launched this year’s World Aids Day theme; which will be held on the 1st of December.
The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus and is also the point of focus for the World AIDS campaign.
World AIDS day is commemorated globally and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and to reflect on the lives lost and the road to ending it.
This year the theme for World Aids Day is “Zero Discrimination….Access to Services is my right”
The theme covers a wide range of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in the country, which includes accessibility to health services.
The most destructive pandemic in history, PNG is estimated to have approximately 30, 000 people living with HIV; with approximately 1, 500 people dying annually from HIV related diseases. These statistics are only from reported cases of people who are on the ART Drugs.
Access to health care services is a major problem in PNG; not only due to stigma and discrimination associated with the disease but also because of the attitudes of health workers.
PNG will join the global community on December 1st to commemorate World Aids Day and the NAC have approved the theme that would highlight, and increase more awareness on rights violation and accessibility.