AIDS, Campaigns a Waste of Money
Thursday, July 9, 2009, 4:28 pm
A local AIDS activist in Papua New Guinea has slammed the government for wasting funds on prevention campaigns.
People Living With Higher Aims (PLWHA) Project Manager, Mr Joe Egu, who has been “living positive” with AIDS for the last 7 years, claims that prevention campaigns do not work and the PNG Government needs to change its’ strategy.
“Millions and millions of dollars have been spent on these campaigns and still the infection rate is exploding”, said Mr Egu.
Australia committed $100 million in 2006 to assist Papua New Guniea with its growing AIDS epidemic, the majority of which has been spent on promotions focused on educating people about transmission of the virus.
Mr Egu insists funds should instead be put toward care for the people suffering from the illness and that awareness and prevention would naturally follow.
He said if the disease was socially accepted and not stigmatised, more people would take the volunteer tests and admit to it rather than continuing the spread.
“It is the people that live with virus that ultimately have the choice; to control, to stop or to spread,” said the Project Manager.
The most common form of transmission in Papua New Guinea is through heterosexual contact.
Currently 64,000 people have tested positive to HIV/AIDS and the Australian Government expects this number to rise to 500,000 by 2025.