31 May 2003

Growth rate of HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea is still exponential

9:32 am on 31 May 2003

Papua New Guinea's National Aids Council says the message from the public health campaign to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS is not getting through in some provinces.

The council's medical adviser, Dr Joachim Pantumari, says 100 new cases of HIV infection are now being reported each month.

He says the growth rate is exponential which is causing a lot of concern.

"I am very much alarmed and I'm trying to personally drive our messages into the provincial network. Some of the provincial AIDS committees that we have created have stopped working. Maybe about 30 percent in operation and we have a hard task ahead of us to drive our messages right down to the provinces and the whole of the country."

Dr Pantumari says the HIV epidemic is now generalised throughout the community and they have plans to expand their screening programmes in the provinces