© UNICEF PNG, 2010, Azoulay
Lack of prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS is a pressing problem for PNG that requires urgent support and assistance. The PNG epidemic is mainly heterosexually driven, fuelled by multiple concurrent sexual relations, inconsistent condom use, gender based violence, and high levels of stigma.
In 2009 the number of adults living with HIV was estimated to be 35,800 – a national prevalence of 0.9%. In 2009, a cumulative total of 11,520 people were estimated to have died due to HIV-related illnesses and 5,610 children became orphans as a result of the epidemic.
1. Reduce transmission rates from parent to child (PPTCT) and improve paediatric AIDS services
High rates of PPTCT of HIV are fuelled by low antenatal care coverage, low levels of supervised deliveries, weak maternal and child health systems, gender-based violence and stigma.
- UNICEF is a leading partner in the development of the national Operational Plan for PPTCT and Paediatric AIDS Framework for Action 2011-2015 which guides stakeholders to roll out comprehensive PPTCT services, integrated into the MCH services.
- UNICEF is currently supporting the development of revised training curriculums
2. Decrease the vulnerability of youth to HIV
Sexual violence, inadequate powers to negotiate safe sex and condom use, and biological vulnerability heightens the risk of HIV transmission to youth. Young people under the age of 30 consist of around 70 per cent of the population, most of which are sexually active with low rates of condom use.
- UNICEF supports the roll out the ‘National HIV Prevention & Sexuality Education for Out of School Young People’.
- UNICEF promotes targeted youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services in provinces with highest HIV burden
3. Ensure protection, care and support for children infected / affected by HIV
Approximately 75 per cent of children and women experience violence in their home and 30 per cent of children are considered to be vulnerable to HIV infection due violence, abuse, exploitation and poverty.
- UNICEF supports the roll out of the ‘Lukautim Pikinini-Act Training to Faith Based Organizations (FBO) for the protection, care and support of Most Vulnerable Children (MVC)’.