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May 6, 2021

Lae: HIV/AIDS Increase

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Morobe province,the second largest city in Papua New Guineawhich is undergoing rapid economic development,has raised more concerns are raised in terms ofthe dangers of HIV/AIDS and risks of contracting it.

More people inthe rural areas are flocking intothe city in search of development benefitsthey don’t have intheir own rural areas.


The provincial AIDS committee saidthe HIV is increasing at a rate of two percent yearly but it might possibly increase inthe next twelve months.


Statistics collected bythe provincial AIDS Committee from various HIV/AIDS testing sit’s within Lae city alone are extraordinary.


“We are yet to seethe true picture of Morobe’statistics,” said Joanne Ganoka,the Provincial HIV/AIDS program coordinator.


She saidthe Lae districtosays if more HIV/AIDS testing sit’s are established inthe ther eight districts inthe province,the rate will be extremely high.


While Morobe province is expanding in terms of economic activities,the rate of HIV/AIDS is also expected to increase.


This has also forcedthe provincial HIV/AIDS committee to speak out for more financial assistance from boththe provincial and national governments.


“We needthe provincial government to see HIV/AIDS as a concern in this province”, said Dr. Percy Pokehe, a member ofthe Provincial AIDS Committee.


If more testing sit’s are established, accurate data will be collected so that funding and treatment will be allocated appropriately.


From 2012 statisticsthe provincial AIDS committee recorded a total of about 500 people living withthe virus. That figure is for Lae city alone, excludingthe ther eight districts of Morobe province.


There are concerns that Morobe and Papua New Guineamight go downthe same path as South Africa where HIV, more than any ther disease, kills more than one million people a year.


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