9 Jul 2013

PNG study highlights effects of better HIV/AIDS treatment

3:03 pm on 9 July 2013

A study in Papua New Guinea suggests that increased access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care has encouraged more HIV-positive mothers to have children.

The report from the PNG Institute of Medical Research sought to understand the experiences of women and men engaging in prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV programmes.

Dr Angela Kelly from the Institute's Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit says the study, funded by AusAID, looked at HIV testing and care during pregnancy, treatment for parents and their babies, and early infant diagnosis.

She says one of the interesting findings was how many women were already diagnosed with HIV before they got pregnant.

"So that to me shows a really good, that health care services in PNG are supporting women and their husbands to have babies after they're diagnosed and I think we've been able to do that because of the rapid increase in access to antiretroviral therapies."

Dr Angela Kelly says 113 women, men and health care workers took part in the study.