22 Feb 2006

Calls for the Australian Governnment to do more to fight the spread of HIV/Aids in Papua

2:31 pm on 22 February 2006

The Australia West Papua Association says a new partnership to combat the spread of HIV/Aids must include the Indonesian province.

The Australian Government and the William J Clinton Foundation are this week announcing a new coalition on HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment in the Asia Pacific region.

Dr Anne Noonan, who is a member of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and the Australia West Papua Association, says HIV/Aids levels in Papua are the worst in the region.

She says as many as one in four people in the province may have the virus and her hope is that this new coalition would become involved in disseminating information about the virus throughout Papua.

"It is very difficult to get information out and I think that would be one of the first things to get some co-operation going and to encourage Indonesia to start getting real about their public education and treatment of people with HIV in Papua."