23 Jun 2004

European Union commits US$4m to PNG for peer education HIV/AIDS programme

5:07 pm on 23 June 2004

The European Union has committed almost 4-million US dollars to fund five years work on HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea.

The EU, under its sexual health program, has started a pilot project on increasing the capacity of peer educators to teach others about HIV/AIDS within government and private institutions.

Under the program, a two-week workshop was held to train peer educator trainers from the army and police, maritime workers, airlines and other non-governmental organisations.

The EU resident technical advisor, Dr Ute Schumann says overseas experience shows that the use of peer educators, at a grass-roots level, is much more effective at changing behaviour than mass awareness programmes, alone.

"We have compared the impact of HIV/AIDS awareness approaches to behaviour change and this has given the idea that mass awareness does not really help to, help the people to adapt their behaviour. They would go on practising risky sexual behaviour."

The EU resident technical advisor, Dr Ute Schumann.