20 May 2015

Staggering HIV/AIDS prevalence in Papua's Wamena

6:51 am on 20 May 2015

An Indonesian organisation, the AIDS Prevention Commission, says that over ten percent of the population of the Papua town of Wamena is infected with HIV/AIDS.

Vanimo Harbour, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea.

Vanimo Harbour, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The Highlands town with a population of almost 49-thousand has now reached 5,100 cases of HIV/AIDS, which the Jayawijaya-based Commission attributes largely to rampant prostitution.

Antara news agency reports the Commission's chairman, Gad Piramid Tabuni, as saying that his organisation is working with NGOs, public health centres and integrated healthcare posts in a race against time to tackle the high prevalence of infection in Wamena.

He says the commission is campaigning against unsafe sex and to rid the streets of prostitution at food and beverage stalls.

Mr Tabuni called on churches and mass organisations to also work in the campaign.