By SHARLYNE ERI
WORLD Aids Day was commemorated in Port Moresby yesterday with a march from the Unagi Oval at Gordon to Jack Pidik Park where the official programme began.
Opposition Leader Don Polye, who joined the march, said the event was an opportunity to raise more awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as the importance of being tested for HIV.
Polye said people needed to be aware that there were medications available to sustain the disease.
Polye, who took the opportunity to do a HIV test, urged people to get voluntary testing which would also help in the national and global effort of combating the disease.
“When we are aware of our situation, we can easily manage and eradicate the disease, the situation is not like 10 to 20 years ago, we now have many ways that we can prevent people from being affected and there are facilities and drugs available for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH),” he said.
Polye commended the Government and its relevant partners for the national effort to battle the disease, however, said that the effort must be brought to the rural communities and districts where most of the population was.
He said the question of whether services such as HIV testing was available in rural communities and whether there were special programmes in place to address stigma, especially attached to children living with HIV/AIDS, were some that needed more contemplation on.
Polye also commended the churches for taking a leading role in the battle against HIV/AIDS and urged the government to support them.
By SHARLYNE ERI