THE public have been urged to take responsibility for their actions or else efforts made by the Government to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS would be fruitless.
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said in a statement last Thursday, that the Government, through the Department of Health and National AIDS Council, would continue to provide awareness, antiretroviral drugs and condoms, but if individuals did not take responsibility for their actions, then all these efforts were in vain.
“Our customs in the past have to some extent imposed constraints on our behaviour in the community.
“We also did not have the virus until its introduction in the 1980s,” Sir Michael told a week-long HIV/AIDS forum organised by the provincial AIDS council.
He said with customs and traditions being forgotten today, it was up to individuals to exercise constraint and self-discipline when it comes to risky behaviour.
Sir Michael said that his Government, since taking office in 2002, had maintained leadership on this critical social issue of HIV/AIDS.
He has continued to make addresses during World AIDS Day and other occasions over the years to encourage people to have a better understanding of the disease and its prevention.
The Prime Minister said HIV/AIDS was predominantly transmitted in PNG through sex.
“By being loyal to our life partner, we can show that we respect our children and our life together,” he said.