7 Dec 2005

PNG doctor on Daru reports high AIDS rate

5:00 pm on 7 December 2005

A doctor on Daru Island in Papua New Guinea's Western Province says he believes one in every 100 people on the island has HIV/ AIDS.

Dr John Konga says currently there have been 150 confirmed cases of HIV/Aids on the island out of a population of fewer than 15,000.

Dr Konga says the small sample of people with the disease points to a large portion of the islands people having HIV/Aids.

He says the reason behind his thinking is that many people don't consent to being tested and authorities need that consent under law.

"Our methods regarding HIV/Aids is not being received with open arms and people are not coming forward. That's the big problem we are having. With that figure when you are talking about one in a 100, we are approaching that. We can only do it if people can voluntarily come around and we can do lots of testing, to stop the disease from spreading before it gets from bad to worse."