21 Mar 2008

PNG's National Aids Council says not enough people getting checked for HIV virus

10:24 am on 21 March 2008

The National Aids Council in Papua New Guinea says not enough people are getting themselves checked for the hiv virus and for sexually transmitted diseases.

People with sexually transmitted diseases are more vulnerable to contracting hiv because sores on their genatalia enable the virus to pass from person to person.

But David Pusarum of the National Aids Council says there are many reasons people do not get themselves checked out.

He says one such reason is the assumption that feeling itchy, which is one of the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, is quite normal.

"People accept the fact that you might be scratching here and there but it's OK. Culturally it's assumed that it's your body, it's OK so people do not make intentions of visiting any nearest health facilities for that matter."

Mr Pusarum says a new campaign is being launched to encourage people to get themselves tested.

Called Knowing Your Status will cost almost two hundred thousand US dollars.