By PATRICK TALU
THE tag “Jiwaka Free Country” is attracting people from other Highlands provinces to the new Jiwaka province looking for free sex.
Sex is being regarded as a game in Jiwaka where the old and young ignore the deadly sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) when engaging in voluntary sex.
Youth ambassador and advocator on HIV/AIDS from the Tingim Laip Programme, Palai Ten, yesterday expressed concern that the people were ignoring the dangers of STDs.
He told The National that people were not mindful of the high risk when engaging in voluntary sexual relations.
“According to reports from the Tingim Laip Programme, Minj Road Bung in the South Waghi district, Kerowil and Banz, both in the North Waghi district, were identified as high risk and hot spot areas for HIV infections.
“Prostitution is becoming a norm in Jiwaka without having any serious consideration for moral values.
“Because of the tag (Jiwaka Free Country or JFC), people from provinces as far as Hela are flocking here looking for free sex.
“This is a risky behaviour when outsiders are experimenting unknown zones,” Mr Ten said.
“These men don’t know the women’s health status. The girls offer sex when lured by money.
“It’s a serious concern for Jiwaka leaders and other stakeholders to address the issues or else we might lose the workforce for the new province,” he said.
Mr Ten said the district AIDS council (DAC) had yet to receive any of the K800,000 funding commitment by Parliamentary Committee Chairman for HIV/AIDS and local MP Jamie-Maxtone Graham.
Mr Ten, who is also a member of the DAC representing youths, alleged that the funds must have been diverted or missed by certain people from the district planning and budget priority committee members.
Several attempts to contact Mr Maxtone-Graham were unsuccessful but an officer said that a cheque is yet to be prepared for DAC.