21 Oct 2009

UNICEF calls for better HIV reporting

3:12 pm on 21 October 2009

A new UNICEF report shows there needs to be better reporting of HIV cases across the Pacific.

The report, called Towards Universal Access, says Papua New Guinea has a generalised HIV epidemic.

Across the world, 45 percent of HIV positive pregnant women get antiretroviral medication compared to under 10 percent five years ago.

The Chief of the UNICEF HIV/ AIDS section, Jimmy Kolker, says any improvement in the Pacific is happening much more slowly.

"A number of Pacific countries are reporting zero in the coverage, and that's probably a result of not adequate investigation of the actual need. So Pacific Islands, while it is an isolated epidemic, means that this does not need to be an epidemic that's growing. It could be addressed fairly cost-effectively. But unless we have accurate data. We are never going to know where the need is."

Jimmy Kolker of UNICEF