15 Nov 2005

PNG viceroy says nation must protect children from HIV/Aids

5:44 am on 15 November 2005

Papua New Guinea's Governor-General, Sir Paulias Matane, says PNG must protect its children from HIV/Aids as the epidemic grows.

Sir Paulias was speaking in the capital, Port Moresby, where he launched a new campaign, Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, which is a UN-backed initiative aimed at minimising the impact of the disease on children.

Governor-general Matane said HIV/Aids was on the verge of winning the war against Papua New Guineans, and he said they must all wake up and arm themselves to fight and defeat the enemy.

Only a small proportion of HIV-infected children in PNG receive drugs to sustain their lives.

Many of them are banned from school for fear they will infect other children.

The campaign aims to provide more treatment for children with HIV/Aids, prevent new infections among young people, stop transmissions from mother-to-child and give help to orphans.