By ALISON ANIS
NATIONAL AIDS Council secretariat (NACS) chairman Sir Peter Barter has commended the director of the national Catholic AIDS office Sr Tacisia Hunhoff for the successful establishment of 84 VCT centres in PNG and in testing a total of 45,000 people this year.
Sir Peter when responding to a circular sent by Sr Tarcisia said the organisation was quiet remarkable on what they had achieved during the past 12 months in regard to prevention, care and treatment.
He highlighted their success in making it possible for HIV-positive mothers at Migende, in Kerowagi district of Simbu province, to give birth to normal healthy babies free from the virus, through treatment.
“This is one of the greatest achievements, as it is those that have been infected through no fault of their own. This is tragic and the example set at Migende needs to be made public,” Sir Peter said.
He expressed concern that NACS and others involved in the national response to HIV/AIDS would be tasked with funding antiretroviral (ARV) after next August when funding from Global Fund is completed.
However, Sir Peter said he was convinced that PNG would be successful in obtaining funds f as well as accessing the “continuation clause” of the Global Fund.
He said he had assured people living with HIV/AIDS not to lose hope and that there would be help coming from people who cared.
Sir Peter said PNG was fortunate in that orphanages were not essential as they are in other developing countries because of wantoks and extended families who are now beginning to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
He thanked the staff
of the national catholic AIDS office for their continued effort to help in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing care and treatment to those infected with the virus.