Global Fund backs services

National

Reports by OGIA MIAMEL
THE success of Church Health Services in providing HIV testing, counselling and HIV treatment in PNG has made them a sub-recipient of the new Global Fund allocation for HIV (2015-2017), according to Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag.
He said the fund would further strengthen the achievements of Church Health Services built over the years.
“There are over 500 active HIV testing and counselling sites and 80 main HIV treatment (ART) centres in the country,” Malabag said.
“Out of these sites, 38 per cent is supported by the Church Health services, eight per cent by private companies and 54 per cent are government-run facilities.”
He said the church’s HIV programmes continued to increase, with more than 10,000 people with HIV now being provided care and treatment through Catholic and Anglicare ART centres.
Malabag said this showed a significant increase in the Church Health Services providing sexually transmitted infection and HIV/AIDS services to mostly rural areas.
The Baptist Union of PNG was funded by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to work with key populations in the high HIV burden areas of Enga, Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces.
“I applaud the inroads made by the Church Health Services in making available services to sex workers, people of diverse sexuality based on principles of avoidance of stigma, non-discrimination and the right to health,” Malabag said.

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