1 Sep 2004

Girls as young as seven, working as prostitutes, have contracted HIV in Papua New Guinea

1:36 pm on 1 September 2004

Health officials in Papua New Guinea say girls as young as seven are being infected with the HIV virus.

The Post Courier newspaper reports Western Highlands provincial authorities involved in the fight against HIV/Aids say more and more young girls are having unprotected sex with men for money.

They say that last month up to 16 cases of HIV were being reported each day compared with figures of four to five a week in previous months.

Officials with the Western Highlands Aids Council say one reason for the alarming figures is the illegal sex activity involving very young girls and men, including expatriates and businessmen.

The council says it is doing its utmost to stop it.