9 Aug 2007

New estimate lowers figure for PNG's HIV carriers

3:59 pm on 9 August 2007

New figures indicate fewer Papua New Guineans are living with HIV than previously thought.

New estimates put the national HIV prevalence rate among adults aged 15 to 49 years at 1.28 per cent which is third lower than previously thought.

The figures were compiled by government health agencies with the assistance of overseas partners including AusAID.

Launching the new figures, PNG's health minister Sir Peter Barter said there were an estimated 46,000 people with HIV of whom only 18,000 were diagnosed.

The HIV estimation report showed young adults made up the majority of those diagnosed and more young women were infected at an earlier age than young men.

The goal of PNG's National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS 2006-2010 is to reduce HIV prevalence in the general population to under one per cent by 2010.