Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HIV em stap!

Statistics from 2008 show that PNG has over 25,000 people who are now living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)
This was revealed by the Provincial Program Co-ordinator for Madang Provincial AIDS office, Mr. Conrad Wadunah during the Divine Word University students orientation week at the SVD Auditorium yesterday.
Mr. Wadunah told the first year students that the latest statistics from the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) which are from the year 2008 showed that HIV/AIDS had over 25,000 people with HIV/AIDS.
He said: “The highest reported cases are found in Western Highlands and the National Capital District. This does not mean that HIV is more prevalent there but because more people in this two provinces are going for tests using Voluntary Counseling and Testing.
“Madang has over 310 PLWHA’s and if you have young people as such one reported case of a 9 years old girl in Madang having sex and other reported case of a girl as young as 13 year old giving birth, then you have to see that HIV is a problem that does not discriminate age and gender.”
Mr. Wadunah urged the news students to be proactive in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the province and one way of doing that was to join and take part in the National HIV/AIDS debate among tertiary institutions that will be taking place later in the year.
Mr. Joe Mocke, who is a senior project officer with the Tingim Laif project in Madang highlighted at the same meeting with students, that statistics from the NACS showed a trend where girls and women in the country aged between 15-39 years old acquired HIV/AIDS while the men in the age group of 40 -60 years old acquired HIV/AIDS.
He said:” This points out that men who were much older were going around with young women who wanted material needs that could be met by the older men.
“Please young people, you are now in university so you must understand that HIV/AIDS is a problem that does not look for you but you look for it meaning that if you take care of yourself then you do not have to worry about HIV/AIDS”.
Mr. Mocke said the Tingim Laif project aims to reduce the vulnerability of HIV/AIDS in communities or settings throughout the country with over 36 project sites around the country.

Top: students listen while Mr. Wadunah and Mr Mocke give their talk.