No backing for HIV fight

National, Normal


MANY local elected leaders are not supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS in their electorates, National AIDS Council chairman Sir Peter Barter said.
“HIV/AIDS is here to stay and everyone, including the leaders, must collaboratively address it through greater participation and awareness.
“Leaders should have strategies in place within their electorate and also commit funding to fight the spread of the virus,” he said.
Sir Peter said very few leaders were committed to supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS while the majority also did not want to allocate funds to gradually reduce and eliminate the epidemic.
However, Sir Peter and Health Department secretary Dr Clement Malau in a joint statement said although the Global Fund submission for round nine funding failed, Papua New Guinea would not run out of the HIV drugs.
They said the Health Department and other partners were working on alternate options for funding parts of the national HIV programme that were anticipated to be funded with Global Funds support. 
They said members of the community are still encouraged to be tested for HIV and if diagnosed with the disease, are urged to seek advice from the local doctors on early treatment.