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aussie
14-09-2002, 05:01 AM
HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is facing the threat of a HIV/AIDS epidemic. The most recent surveillance update at June 2001 puts the cumulative number of reported HIV cases at 4075, with 464 cases reported in the six months to June.

This is a 48 per cent increase over the same period in the previous year. However, these official figures do not reveal the full picture and it is estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 people are infected. In comparison, Australia with a population almost 5 times that of PNG has less than 12,000 HIV positive people.

Unlike Australia, roughly equal numbers of men and women are living with HIV in PNG. Ninety per cent of infections are through heterosexual intercourse. The only other significant category is infection from mother to child.

The epidemic is affecting people across all walks of life. One quarter of people infected with HIV are housewives. The disease has also reached farmers, villagers, professionals, students and the unemployed. HIV is most prevalent in the 15 to 49 age group, which is when people are most economically productive.

aussie
14-09-2002, 05:05 AM
An AusAID commissioned report, http://www.ausaid.gov.au/publications/pdf/hivaids_png.pdf
concluded that, if not checked, the HIV epidemic in PNG will lead to major declines in economic and social indicators. The report reached the following major conclusions:

PNG is facing a major HIV epidemic, with annual increases of 15-30% in numbers infected.
HIV has the potential to exacerbate poverty in PNG, with measures of economic welfare falling between 12 and 48% by the year 2020.
The labour force could be 13-38% lower by 2020 than that projected without HIV.
The budget deficit will increase by between 9 and 21% by 2020.

aussie
14-09-2002, 05:07 AM
The centrepiece of Australia's response is the $60 million National HIV/AIDS Support Project (NHASP) [PDF 17KB]
http://www.ausaid.gov.au/country/png/nhasp.pdf

PNG's National AIDS Council. The project commenced in October 2000 and works in all provinces of PNG. Activities include: education and awareness raising, counselling and care, policy development, surveillance systems, clinical services and strengthening capacity within the PNG National AIDS Council Secretariat. A key feature of the project is its capacity to be flexible to meet the emerging needs of PNG government and communities.

Given the threat that HIV poses, AusAID is ensuring that our entire development program is used to minimise the impact of HIV on PNG. A number of Australian aid projects include HIV interventions, for example: the Community Development Scheme which funds local NGOs has funded community awareness activities; the Correctional Services Development Project provided STD and HIV/AIDS education to inmates and prison officials; and a number of road projects provided HIV awareness for labourers.

For further information on PNG and HIV/AIDS see the fact sheet HIV/AIDS in PNG [PDF-254KB]

For further information on AusAID's HIV/AIDS programs and policies see HIV/AIDS: Australia's Response

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aussie
14-09-2002, 05:09 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER

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AA 02 043 01 Aug 2002

$1m Grant to fight HIV/AIDS in Asia Pacific

I am pleased to announce Australia will provide over one million dollars to establish the Asia Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV/AIDS and Development, as part of Australia's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS in the region.

HIV/AIDS represents one of the major development challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific has the largest regional concentration of HIV outside of sub-Saharan Africa. There are now some 7.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in our region, with more than 3,000 new infections in the Asia Pacific every single day.

The Asia Pacific Leadership Forum for HIV/AIDS and Development (APLF) will engender political leadership by enabling decision-makers and leaders in the region to share their experiences in fighting this epidemic. The initiative for the APLF stems from a meeting I convened in Melbourne in October 2001. 31 Ministers from the Region attended the Ministerial Meeting for HIV/AIDS and Development, including eight from ASEAN. This was the first time Ministers from our region gathered specifically to consider the impact of HIV/AIDS on our region and priorities for action.

The APLF will complement work on HIV/AIDS that is already being undertaken in the region by national governments, regional groupings and donors. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of ASEAN, whose leaders have recognised the challenge of HIV/AIDS and who have developed a strong program of regional action.

Australian assistance, through UNAIDS, will fund a key regional institution to conduct shared learning sessions for leaders from government and civil society around the region. Through discussion and exchange of experience, participants will have the chance to grapple with the difficult issues that the epidemic brings to us.

Australia will also provide support for an APLF coordinator in the UNAIDS Regional Office in Bangkok. UNAIDS will be central to the management and coordination of the APLF, and I am pleased to see our long-standing partnership with this key UN body continuing.

The APLF is a regional partnership. Australia looks forward to working with regional partners, other donors and UNAIDS to encourage the political commitment and leadership required in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

Contacts:
Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890
Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 / 0412 80 4 489
For more information: http://www.ausaid.gov.au