Australia: Fears of an HIV Disaster in Torres Strait
July 28, 2006
On Tuesday, members of the Torres Strait community met with Health Minister Tony Abbott to discuss their concerns over the potential spread of HIV/AIDS from Papua New Guinea to nearby Australian islands. Border controls in the area are relaxed due to the historic links between indigenous groups. Saibai Island in the Torres Strait is just a 15-minute boat ride from PNG, where HIV/AIDS cases are soaring. Each year, about 50,000 PNG citizens visit Saibai and other islands in the strait. At the meeting, Torres Strait community members told Abbott they want health services to be upgraded, including stricter disease checks on visitors from PNG. Abbott agreed the situation is "pretty scary" and vowed the government would respond to their concerns.
Sydney Morning Herald
07.26.2006; Mark Metherell
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.