President’s dies; New Dawn in action
Mi bin mekim wok olsem…..

HIV-AIDS accelerating in PNG

Paul Marshall left for Papua New Guinea last Sunday to nail down the final details of a project to build a hospice for victims of HIV-AIDS. The HIV epidemic Nearly 50,000 people in PNG have the disease and it is projected that the epidemic will accelerate, especially in rural areas which account for 85% of the population. HIV statistics show that, from a base of 1,300 in 1993, nearly 80,000 people will be infected this year and well over 200,000 by 2012. New HIV infections in 2007 were three times the number for 2003.

The goal of Paul Marshall’s AIDS hospice project is to minimise the impact of HIV-AIDS in the New Guinea Islands by providing good medical care and support for people suffering from the disease. The project aims to encourage community support for sufferers’ families and to provide education about the disease. The project will also provide refuge for people at risk of violence or ostracism because of the disease and it will train village-based aid posts staff in the New Guinea Islands.

“Plans for the hospice have accelerated over the past few months,” Paul Marshall says. “We are well advanced in our interactions with the National Aids Council, the Health Department and certain medical specialists who are advising the PNG government. The scary part is that, in some areas like East New Britain, [people] actually don't know what is lurking under the surface. It is now officially recognised that the epidemic is shifting towards the rural areas. Potentially, we could be looking at a volcano ready to explode in East New Britain, but we don't really know.

“What I am hearing is that millions of dollars are being poured into PNG for HIV-AIDS work, but it is both not getting to areas of real need and not achieving grassroots education [and] understanding about the disease. Much work remains to be done.”

You can contact Paul at paul@fvc.org.au

Comments

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Brian Haill

Hi Paul,

Have just come across this information. How's your project faring?

I'd be very interested to hear.

You may care to browse ourt website at www.aids.net.au. If you click on the top of the page icon...Global...a drop down menu will emerge which would take you to our PNG page...which reports on some of the work we have done there...especially with San Michel....and Fr Jude.

With kind regards,

brian

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