The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012
By ABIGAIL APINA
STATISTICS show the Highlands region has the fastest growing number of HIV/AIDS in the country, East New Britain’s Gazelle district Women’s Representative Elizabeth Malori says.
Malori said recently while addressing a gathering at Kerevat market, Gazelle district, that statistics showed the Highlands region had the highest number of HIV cases recorded, followed by Southern, Momase and the Islands regions.
She said in 2009, there were 34,100 people in the country living with the disease and the majority was from the Highlands region.
She said 1,300 people died that year from the disease.
Malori said in 2010, East New Britain recorded 248 people living with the disease and many of them were people aged between 25 and 50 years.
She said many people in the country were still ignoring the issue and the negligence and the “don’t-care” attitude of the people was worsening and aiding the spread of the disease.
“It is very important for all women and mothers to take the issue critically and advise their families, particularly young people and their children, to avoid getting involved in activities that encourage the spread of HIV,” she said.
Malori said many mothers were naturally defensive and protective of their children and while that could be good in some ways, it was also destructive.
She said such attitudes left a loophole for young people to continue to pretend to be good while being exposed to risks.
She said HIV/AIDS was here to stay and it was the people’s duty to be responsible citizens.
Malori strongly urged people nationwide to take ownership of HIV/AIDS awareness programmes in their communities and that networking was vital in the fight against it.