The Australian Government, in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea, joined development partners, stakeholders, people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and the rest of the country to mark the 2017 World AIDS Day on December 1 with the theme Right to health, justice for all.
Australia has taken this occasion to raise more awareness on health issues related to HIV/AIDS, remember those who have lost their lives and those living with HIV/AIDS and support the continuing joint efforts to provide people with quality and accessible HIV/AIDS services.
Women and girls disproportionately bear the effects of HIV/AIDS. In fact, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide for women and girls aged between15-44. It is important for Australia to share with partners its objective to improve health outcomes for all people but with greater focus on women and girls and to work to reduce discrimination and address gender inequality.
Australia is committed to supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to manage its health challenges and improve health standards for the people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. The apparent trend of the HIV epidemic 20 years ago was very alarming but due to close cooperation and action, the epidemic has been less severe than expected.
Thanks to all partners, government, civil society, citizens and families, Papua New Guinea’s intervention in AIDS treatment over the last 20 years, with support from Australia, has transformed and saved lives.
The Australian Government is pleased to have cooperated in the development of a new draft National Sexually Transmitted Infection and HIV Strategic Plan 2018-2022, along with other development partners such as the Global Fund, UNAIDS, local and international non-government organisations, to ensure HIV services can be sustainably supported in the long-term.
Australia, through the Papua New Guinea Partnership Fund is also pleased to be providing funding to frontline organisations such as the Catholic Church Health Services and Anglicare to deliver integrated sexual and reproductive health services including HIV testing and treatment alongside primary health care services across 18 provinces.
World AIDS Day has brought us all together to celebrate our successes and to reaffirm our commitment to tackling HIV/AIDS.