24 Sep 2009

Dame Carol Kidu deplores HIV stigma in PNG

1:13 pm on 24 September 2009

Papua New Guinea's only woman MP, Dame Carol Kidu, says there's still too much stigma in her country against people suffering from illnesses, including HIV.

PNG has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world and while numbers are decreasing in some urban areas, they are still on the rise in total, especially in rural areas.

Dame Carol, who has just returned from an AIDS conference in Thailand, says the problem needs to be tackled at a grassroots level.

"In some societies in Papua New Guinea, I believe, people are quite fatalistic about illness and accepting of illness and so there are a lot of deep issues we've got to deal with with this. There's still a huge amount of stigma that has to be dealt with, it's still quite strong in some areas."

Dame Carol Kidu, PNG's Social Development Minister and only woman MP