New Data Indicate Lower Number of HIV/AIDS Cases in Papua New Guinea, Rapid Spread of Epidemic in Rural Areas
August 10, 2007
Data recently collected in Papua New Guinea indicate that fewer people are living with HIV/AIDS than previously estimated but that the disease is spreading more rapidly in rural areas, Health Minister Peter Barter said on Thursday, the AAP/Sydney Morning Herald reports. The new estimates -- which were collected by government health agencies with the help of overseas partners, such as AusAID -- indicate that HIV prevalence among people ages 15 to 49 is 1.28%, compared with the previous estimates of 2% (AAP/Sydney Morning Herald, 8/9).
"These changes in the epidemic call for the government and its partners to mobilize all resources to minimize the impact of the HIV epidemic on people's lives in both rural and urban areas," Barter said, adding, "We need to focus our interventions to young people, particularly female youth. Young people are the backbone of the nation's workforce and economy." Barter called on residents to practice prevention methods -- such as using condoms, practicing abstinence and being faithful to one partner. The target of Papua New Guinea's National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS is to reduce HIV prevalence in the general population to 1% by 2010 (AAP/Sydney Morning Herald, 8/9).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.