By ELIAS LARI
JIWAKA has the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country, according to Cardinal Sir John Ribat, the chairman of the PNG Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV/Aids.
He was in Jiwaka yesterday to open a new regional office for the alliance at Sipil in Banz.
The other eight provinces behind Jiwaka identified as having a high number of people living with HIV/Aids are Enga, Western Highlands, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, Northern, Morobe, Madang and the National Capital District.
Provinces projected to have the highest prevalence rate in PNG are Enga, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Northern, Madang, NCD and Manus.
Sir John said the office was the first to be opened in the Highlands region. Sir John was accompanied by his deputy Ps Daniel Hawali and national programme coordinator Andrew Hama.
Sir John said he had served as the chairman of the alliance for seven years and the opening of the centre signified the extension of the work to the Highlands region to fight the speared of HIV/Aids.
Sir John said the church must take a leading role in educating the people on HIV/AIDS to reduce its spread.
“The church must start carrying out awareness to help stop the population from being infected and affected. You need to get tested now and know your status because the virus is spreading fast,” Sir John said.
“I’m appealing to the people of Jiwaka to change their behaviour,” he said.
By ELIAS LARI