29 Apr 2005

PNG again warned about HIV/AIDS impact

4:24 pm on 29 April 2005

A meeting in Papua New Guinea has been told that the country stands to lose about 40 percent of its labour force over the next 15 years as HIV/AIDS continues to claim its young population.

The Director of the National AIDS Council Secretariat, Ninkama Moiya, says parliamentarians have to deal with the issue seriously by addressing issues such as polygamy and nightclubs.

According to a report carried by the Post Courier newspaper, Dr Moiya says clubs are operating long hours and many young people were intoxicated with alcohol and getting themselves exposed to the HIV virus.

He says there are now 150 new cases of HIV being reported every month, most of whom are people below the age of 35.

He says despite the government finally acknowledging HIV/AIDS as an epidemic, it has still failed to fund the fight adequately.

This had resulted in the council continuing to rely on the Australian Government for financial support to carry out its programs.