28 Sep 2005

PNG HIV/AIDS worker stands by her high estimate of HIV positive people

7:43 pm on 28 September 2005

The Morobe Provincial Aids Committee in Papua New Guinea is standing by statements that a third of the population in Lae could be HIV/AIDS positive.

Earlier in the week Committee Strategy Coordinator, Joan Ganoka, was reported in local newspapers as saying three out of 10 people in the city were suspected to be HIV positive.

The UN Pacific Aids Programme has disputed the reports, saying although there has been an increase there is no way that many people could have the virus.

However Ms Ganoka says new figures which will be released next week to coincide with the opening of new facilities, should back her statement.

"We have the opening and that's when they will release the latest data. No settlement in and around Lae, it's like no settlement is free. We will be opening the confirmative testing lab at the same time together with the HIV/AIDs daycare centre on Tuesday. It could be around there or even more, I'm not too sure."

Joan Ganoka from the Morobe Provincial Aids Committee.