Thursday, March 22, 2012

New HIV cases cause concern

Source: Post Courier, March 21, 2012
By Michael Koma

COLLECTIVELY there are 14 to 16 new cases of HIV infection in Chimbu Province every month and this is “very scary because by 2050 almost everyone in the province will be HIV positive if this tendency continues.”
Provincial HIV/AIDS response co-ordinator Nick Apa revealed this in an exclusive interview in Kundiawa yesterday .
Mr Apa said the Provincial HIV prevalence Rate was 0.21 per cent while that of the Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI) was 0.14 per cent.
He said: If the current trend continues the 300,000 or so population of this province (Chimbu) will be greatly affected after four decades so everyone must not be sceptical but do something to contain HIV transmission at all costs.”
Last month, National AIDS Council Secretariat Director Wep Kanawi flew to Kundiawa and signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the provincial AIDS committee, the Chimbu Provincial administration and the Division of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs which will see the decentralisation of powers from the national level to the province.
The Chimbu government had underpinned the activities of the provincial AIDS committee with annual budgetary allocations over the past five years.
Recently, the National AIDS Council allocated K60,000 which would be used to improve facilities at Sinesine’s Koge Health Centre and Kilau Health sub centre in a bid to create space for HIV Counselling and Testing (HTC).
Mr Apa said the remote Karimui/Nomane District had generously assisted his office with logistics and even committed financial resources for HIV/AIDS activities in that district.
“It would be appropriate if the Sinesine/Yongomugl’s administration follow suit by making available funding and logistical support,” said Mr Apa.
The provincial administration has recently created seven positions for district HIV/AIDS response co-ordinators under its restructure. The positions are now occupied by qualified personnels after their applications were screened by the Provincial Employment Authority.

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