Papua New Guineais listed as one ofthe countries inthe Pacific region with a highest HIV prevalence rate of 0.9 percent.
The prime focus for the national aids council secretariat is now onthe seven highlands provinces, Lae and Port Moresby.
And ofthe seven highlands provinces, Western highlands province is onthe top ofthe list.
The Chairman ofthe AIDS committee secretariat said,the focus will be now on those provinces asthey make up a big portion of people contracting HIV.
“Wherever in Papua New Guineathat you go to, statistics provided by testing sit’s in those provinces shows thatthe person infected comes fromthe Highlands” Dr. Ben Said.
Dr. Ben said that about 80 percent ofthese cases come fromthe highlands province, Morobe and Port Moresby, while ther provinces make upthe remaining 20 percent.
Bet those statistics are of those going for testing. Many more who are reluctant to go for testing remain unaccounted.
The General secretariat meanwhile is working on a strategic plan that will targetthe populations that are most likely to spreadthe disease.
And those arethe working class people, and people with large amount of money to spend.
“Sex can easily be negotiated inthe highlands than anywhere else in Papua New Guinea and that’s largely fuellingthe epidemic”, Dr. Ben said.
Last week during a workshop in Mt. Hagen,the Western Highlands Provincial Aids Committee revealedthe extent ofthe epidemic inthe province.
The National AIDS council also fears thatointhe next few yearsPNG’s productive age group who are betweenthe ages of 15 and 29 might be greatly affected by HIV.
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