Tingim Laip to be Madang-based

National, Normal


PAPUA New Guinea and Australia have agreed to extend a successful programme that is working to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The programme, ‘Tingim Laip’, with the second phase being launched on Tuesday in Madang, is aimed at reducing the HIV prevalence, improve care and support to those infected and to minimise its social and economic impacts on families.
The Tingim Laip programme, coordinated by the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) will receive $A8million through AusAID bringing the total of funding assistance to $A18million through the PNG-Australia HIV&AIDS programme.
The first phase funding was mainly concentrated on training and supporting local communities to plan and implement HIV responses.
Tingim Laip focuses on comprehensive HIV prevention involving condoms, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, voluntary counselling and testing, care, support and treatment.
Sir Peter, who launched Tingim Laip 2, said the current prevalence figures were not realistic enough with cases in  remote places such as the Hagahais near the Sepik/Madang border, where 15 out of a total of 150 people tested were  found to be infected.
“If the remote Hagahais can be found to be positive, then we surely have a big problem here.
“Wep Kanawi (NACS director) says that we are spending too much on treatment and should be concentrating on prevention but treatment is containing the spread and is a form of prevention as well,” he said when responding to Kanawi’s comments recently.
Kanawi had said that funding should be spread equally if they were to achieve the Tingim Laip goal, which is to conduct effective prevention at marked sites.
Tingim Laip has been running for the last four years with 36 sites in 11 provinces.