Fighting HIV top priority for AusAID

COMBATTING HIV and communicable diseases remained priorities for Australia’s aid programmes, Acting Australian High Commissioner to PNG Bronte Moules says.
The high commission in Port Moresby has renewed its commitment to support PNG’s response to HIV/AIDS.
Representatives from the high commission joined the PNG Government and development partners at a national HIV expo in Port Moresby yesterday to promote prevention and treatment.
Moules said: “Improving health, along with education and gender equality, is essential to building a skilled and competitive workforce and lifting living standards for Papua New Guineans. The Papua New Guinea Government is to be congratulated for continuing to provide life-saving antiretroviral treatment free of charge to those who need it.
“While there is a low national HIV prevalence, there are most-at-risk populations who remain at significantly higher risk of HIV infection. These people need to remain a focus area of support, along with prevention and testing for the wider community.
“We are committed to supporting the combined efforts of the PNG health sector and civil society partners like the Catholic HIV/AIDS Services and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, as well as the vital role played by small local organisations such as Susu Mamas, which has expanded services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.”
Australia is providing more than K40 million towards PNG’s HIV response this year.
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