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WORKING TO ELIMINATE HIV AIDS

By Tamara Pia Agavi

The National Aids Council Secretariat (NACS) on Tuesday 1st of August launched its new National HIV Data base Collection tool and the e-NACS stakeholders reporting forms for the HIV program response monitoring in the country.

NACS Acting Director Tony Lupiwa in officiating at the launch of the program said the two important tools that NACS has developed are for the improved and effective HIV response in PNG.

The e-NACS stakeholders reporting forms will assist NACS to effectively coordinate and monitor all HIV programs in the country. NACS also has developed the “prevention” data collection tool that will capture all national and global prevention indicators” Mr. Lupiwa added.

The aim of developing the National HIV Data Collection tool is to bring together a range of existing HIV databases into one harmonized national database system.

Mr. Lupiwa told the gathering that the current increase in the HIV statistics, data information was very crucial to track the progress and understand where PNG was heading to in terms of the HIV Epidemic and to inform better resource mobilization and improve programming. 

“That is why we need more accurate data to understand the impact of our prevention programs that would help us and expand our prevention interventions. Prevention is the front line of defence and that is supposed to be the primary target of the HIV response in the county “the Acting Director added.

Mr. Lupiwa said PNG currently has an estimate of 72, 000 people living with HIV and last year alone accounted for an estimate of 6, 500 new infections.

He added while there has been improvement with ART coverage with 61% of PLWHIV on treatment which is about 43 816, PNG still needs to do more to beef up the response and data plays a critical role in the HIV response.

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