15 May 2012

HIV/Aids education to start earlier in PNG

6:17 pm on 15 May 2012

The Education Department in Papua New Guinea says children as young as 10 are set to receive HIV/Aids education as authorities try to curb the high rate of HIV infection.

Some aspects of the Department's new HIV/Aids policy have upset the Catholic church, in particular the making of condoms available in secondary and tertiary institutions.

But the Department's deputy secretary Damien Rapese says it won't be forcing any schools to implement the policy and says they are just reinforcing an initiative that exists in the old manual.

Mr Rapese says the main difference in the new document is that they have shifted the focus from awareness to indepth education for students at a younger age.

"The HIV related education will focus more on gender and the rights of people, and the HIV related education we've decided to get it started from Grade 3 and because of its importance we include one or two questions on the exams."

Damien Rapese says the plan will be launched towards the end of the year.