ART and condoms do not mean more sex: Council

National

By Glenda Awikiak
THE National Aids Council secretariat has warned that antiretroviral treatment (ART) and condoms are to prevent the spread of HIV, not to encourage more sexual activities.
Secretariat regional manager Valentine Tangoh said the council and the health department were distributing the items to stop the spread of HIV.
He was responding to public comments that the distribution of ART and condoms were encouraging promiscuity and increasing the spread of HIV in the provinces.
“Findings have shown that people living with HIV and are on ART are 100 per cent unlikely to spread the virus because their viral load has been suppressed to a level where they would not pass the virus. Likewise people using condoms will prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.
He said PNG was committed to distributing these things to meet its global commitment of 90.90.90 – the United Nations target to end HIV.
“That means 90 per cent of people infected with HIV to know their status, 90 per cent of those who know their status to be on treatment, and 90 per cent of those on treatment to have achieved viral suppression,” he said.
Tangoh said the ART was just like any other treatment sick people got. Therefore it is important for people to come for testing, know their status and be on treatment so that they don’t spread the virus and increase HIV incidences.
“The increase is only happening because people are not going for testing and on treatment and also not using condoms.”

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