By DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
A SECOND HIV/AIDS and peer education training workshop for Lae’s PNG Port staff and users was conducted last week.
The workshop focused on “mobilising the private sector to respond to gender, STI, HIV and AIDS issues”.
The workshop aimed to equip those in the business sector with the skills and knowledge to address issues related to HIV.
While a lot of awareness has been directed at the Government departments, the business sector, which represents a majority of the workforce in the country, still lack essential information on HIV.
Lae Chamber of Commerce president Alan McLay said due to the expansion of the PNG Ports area, the Asian Development Bank saw that there was a need to create awareness and educate staff who would be regular users of the area.
Twenty-three participants graduated last Friday as peer educators for their companies.
Among them was Diane Wrakuavia, an invoicing officer with PNG Ports, and Kumed Waen, who works with Pacific Towing.
They both said they would use their skills to educate their co-workers.
Mrs Wrakuavia said as a peer educator, she would now be looked upon as a role model and it was important to be conscious of her behaviour.
She said with this responsibility, she would get herself tested for HIV before encouraginmg others to do likewise.
Mr Waen said the workshop had helped him to see the need to make adjustments in his life if he was going to be a role model and peer educator.
He said that the workshop had helped him realise that women should be regarded as equal partners in all forms of development and not be looked down upon.