Despite the awareness on HIV/AIDS by the Health Department, National AIDS Council (NAC), non-governmental organisations, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), etc, it is not reaching everyone.
This is because most Papua New Guineans live in remote areas and the harsh geographical terrains, traditional beliefs and different cultures make it all the more difficult for the message to reach the people.
And when it does reach the people, not many are taking the message seriously.
HIV/AIDS is spreading across the country and there is no place in the world which is immune to the HIV virus.
I support the title of the letter “HIV/AIDS still spreading like bush fire” (Nov 17) but not the entire content.
The Health Department, NAC, NGOs and donor agencies, etc, are playing a vital role in HIV/AIDS awareness.
Many people are going to voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) centres freely, which means people are aware that HIV/AIDS is spreading like a bush fire.
The VCT centres are not only getting vital statistic but also help those who are infected and affected.
Many people are confused over the use of condom.
When we talk about preventive measures, we talk about three main ways of preventing HIV – abstain from sex, be faithful to one’s sexual partner either married or otherwise, and use condom.
It is wrong for people to think that promoting condom use is promoting HIV.
The people who are vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS are the sex workers.
One way for them to avoid contracting HIV and other sexual diseases is to use condom.
We must remember not all Papua New Guineans are faithful Christians or faithful to their sexual partners.
These people are encouraged to use condoms to protect themselves from HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STI).
HIV positive people can prevent the spread of the virus by using condoms when having sex.