B’ville HIV cases double in 5yrsb


THE number of people infected with HIV in Bougainville has doubled in the past five years.
This was highlighted by Catholic coordinator for HIV Stella Morokana during an HIV/AIDS awareness and testing event at Pitpit in Wakunai district on Monday.
The diocese team conducted a HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) on employees of the Raibro Construction Ltd, a firm undertaking a major road sealing project.
Morokana said there were 53 registered cases at the Mary Mother of Hope VCT facility in Hahela Parish while Our Lady of Mercy VCT Facility in Arawa had 25 registered cases.
The figures for St Vincent De Paul VCT facility in Buin and Buka General Hospital were not included.
Morokana said in 2012, there were 23 HIV cases registered at Hahela.
By 2017, it had risen to 53. She said in most cases men were infecting their wives. She said more children were born with HIV as a result of infected couple not getting up-to date HIV/AIDS treatment.
In the areas where number of integrated health facilities that provide voluntary counselling and testing and antenatal HIV tests also decreased from 23 in 2012-13 in 2018.
Morokana said in 2017, only 2000 people in Bougainville were covered by VCT in various health facilities in Bougainville. Most of the 350,000 population were not accessed by their VCT programmes.
Catholic church health service in Bougainville as one of the key organisation combating the HIV/AIDS had been faced with funding and not enough HIV counsellors in past years.