Global Fund commits more to PNG AIDS fight
The international aid funding agency, the Global Fund, has signed a deal to provide a further $US14.2 million for Papua New Guinea's fight against HIV/AIDS.
The international aid funding agency, the Global Fund, has signed a deal to provide a further $US14.2 million dollars for Papua New Guinea's fight against HIV/AIDS.
The money is for the next two and a bit years and the chairperson of the PNG Country Co-ordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund, Lady Roslyn Morauta, says they want to focus on those struggling to access services.
The wife of former prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, told Don Wiseman what they hope to achieve.
ROSLYN MORAUTA: This grant is quite different from previous HIV grants previously we were concentrating on treatment in all the clinics in every single province and mother to child transmission of HIV. Treatment for mothers and pediatric HIV. But those services are covered and they are ongoing and largely covered by the government now. The government is also buying all the anti-retroviral drugs that are needed for the country. So the focus for this grant is on trying to reach people who are seen most at risk but who are not accessing services. So there is going to be particular effort to try to be testing and provide treatment to particular communities such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people as well as continuing efforts in the high burden provinces mostly in the Highlands.
DON WISEMAN: A lot of these people are in fairly remote areas, aren't they, so how do you go about reaching them?
RM: Well we are going to use a lot of their peers who are involved with HIV services already to try to reach their mates who may not be that is the basic focus. Identifying clinics that will be friendly to such people because sometimes the normal government services are not.
DW: Over the last ten years or so there have actually been a significant cut in the number of people believed to have HIV or AIDS in Papua New Guinea. Still a substantial amount though but you I guess would like to see it disappear?
RM: Well we would like, we'd like to get zero transmission obviously. So yes ten years ago we thought that their could be over two percent of the population who were infected. But it seems now that the data that we have that about point six five percent of the population. That is the current official data but one of the other important activities of this grant will be to do a bio-behavioural survey. Which should give us much better information about the incidence of the disease in the high burden areas. That work's being done by the institute of medical research and should hopeful start by the end of this year. That is also funded under the grant um the Australian government is also putting in a significant amount of money into that survey in addition to the global fund.
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