8 Aug 2008

Bougainville MP wants leaders to be accountable in anti-AIDS campaign

1:54 pm on 8 August 2008

An MP in Papua New Guinea's autonomous province of Bougainville says leaders must be more accountable over their efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Speaking at the international conference on AIDS in Mexico, the deputy speaker of the Bougainville parliament, Francesca Semoso, says there is a need to ensure gay rights.

Don Wiseman has more:

"She also says there needs to be a different approach to sex education to ensure that youth are responsible and practise safe sex."

Ms Semoso, who's the chairperson of Bougainville's Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS, says being judgmental, and curtailing discussions about sex and sexual health, is not helpful.

She says there needs to be a commitment from political leaders that sex workers and men who have sex with men can access health services and prevention programmes without being stigmatised.

Ms Semoso says these leaders also need to ensure the right of all women, married or single, to say no to unwanted sex.

She says if domestic violence and women's human rights are addressed the region will be much closer to addressing HIV successfully.