CHURCHES’ involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS is important.
This is because churches are the ones working closely with the people, especially in the remote areas.
An official, who requested anonymity, said churches must be involved in the planning and implementation process at different levels in all sectors of society.
He added that people listen to church leaders more than the Government.
He was one of the many people who attended the National AIDS Council secretariat (NACS) consultative meeting on the new HIV/AIDS strategy (2011-15) at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby yesterday.
The meeting will set the direction for PNG’s National HIV response for the next five years.
“At the moment, churches are going through so many hurdles and pressures because they (churches) have not been given basic facts and training on HIV/AIDS, to care for and treat those who are affected in the remote areas,” he said.
He said churches were the ones working closely with the bulk of rural population.
“As such, they should be trained adequately to provide effective HIV/AIDS awareness information to the people and look after those who are affected by HIV/AIDS,” he said.
He said churches currently did not know much regarding facts and relevant HIV information to provide necessary information, training and care needed by those affected and the community at large.
“The last HIV/AIDS strategic plan did not include participation from churches.
“As a result, many churches are unable to give correct information to the people,” he said.
He said he did not want this to happen again in the next National HIV/AIDS strategic plan.