By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Strengthening of HIV\AIDS Services for Key Populations in PNG project was a success, according to US Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray.
The program was aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV among key populations in the country, and to mitigate its impact on key populations, their sexual partners, and their families.
FHI 360 implemented the program in the National Capital District and Madang with a 19 million dollar funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
From 2012 to 2018, the key populations included men who have sex with men, transgender people, and women engaging in transactional sex, including female sex workers.
The projects increased the demand for the use of the facility and community-based gender and gender-based violence interventions and strengthen health systems for HIV/AIDS delivery.
US Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray highlighted the embassy’s partnerships with different health agencies in the country to curb the HIV epidemic and address gender-based violence, particularly among vulnerable populations.
The project, under the leadership of the Department of health, focused on the vulnerable who are subject to stigma and discrimination, gender-based-violence, and HIV.
US A.I.D Health Advisor DR JORGE VELASCO commended the government through the Health Department for the leadership from which the USAID worked under to strengthen HIV services, and identify key populations to help them access improved services.
FHI 360, the US AID-funded implementing partner, worked in collaboration with the Government, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations agencies, as well as NGOs, faith based organizations and community-based organizations on areas such as direct generation, direct service delivery and technical assistance.