21 Mar 2008

New campaign in PNG to tackle rise of HIV/AIDs

10:24 am on 21 March 2008

A new campaign to tackle the rise of hiv/aids as well as sexually transmitted diseases is to be launched by the National Aids Council in Papua New Guinea.

The campaign, which is costing almost two hundred thousand US dollars, is called Knowing Your Status.

It's aim is to get two testing sites in every district of the country and to encourage people to take responsibility for their health by getting tested.

The Manager for Community Care and Counselling for the National Aids Council, David Pusarum, says people with sexually transmitted diseases often have sores on their genatalia which make them more vulnerable to hiv infections.

"STI's create sores and there is a high level of concentrations of hiv in semen and vaginal fluids. When there is a high concentration of it and if you have cuts, the virus goes through those cuts within your cervix or the head of the penis for the virus to move into your body."

David Pusarum of the National Aids Council says many STIs can be treated which would lower the risk of getting infected by HIV.