7 Oct 2013

Papua New Guinea government warned not to divert HIV funding

7:29 pm on 7 October 2013

A senior official in Papua New Guinea's health ministry is warning the government and aid donors not to divert money from HIV/AIDS programmes.

Dr Nick Dala is the manager of the national STI HIV/AIDS programme and says the government has been fully funding all HIV/AIDS commodities, including anti-retroviral therapy.

He says annual government funding is almost six-and-a-half million US dollars and Australia through its aid programme contributes about 94 million.

Dr Dala says recently revised statistics have lowered incidence rates significantly but that is only because of the work and money that has gone into prevention over the past few years .

"The Australian government and the Papua New Guinea govenment is also questioning the huge amount of money actually spent on HIV when you're actually faced with competing priorities. Like you have maternal child mortality is very high, you have tuberculosis, you have law and order crime problems, you have disasters, you have infrastructures that you need to fix."

Dr Nick Dala says about 12-thousand of the 16-thousand people needing anti-retrovirals are receiving them.