UNAIDS: More needed to fight AIDS

National, Normal


OUTGOING UNAIDS PNG country coordinator Tim Rwabuhemba said PNG has improved considerably in its efforts against the spread of HIV/AIDS and there are still areas where it needs to tackle head-on hto win the fight against HIV and AIDS.
“I would like to see greater effort being put into addressing the areas of stigma and discrimination, gender base violence, intensifying prevention efforts and decriminalising the role of sex workers”, he said. 
Rwabuhemba said since he took office four years ago, UNAIDS and the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS), including their strategic partners, had achieved many positive outcomes in the fight against the epidemic in PNG.
He said a notable achievemnt  was the reduction of the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate from 1.2% in 2000 to 0.9% in 2009.
He said another big achievement during his tenure was the creation of the HIV prevention strategy 2010-2015, a policy framework aimed at coordinating and implementing the national HIV response plan.
Rwabuhemba also pointed out that the creation and establishment of the Business Against HIV/AIDS (BAHA) and International Review Group (IRG) were some of the achievements made during his term in PNG.
He thanked alliance partners throughout the country for working with him during the last four years and affirmed that though he will take up his new post in Fiji he will always stay in touch with key alliance partners in the country and region.
NACS director Wep Kanawi praised Rwabuhemba for his time and contribution in the work of UNAIDS.