16 May 2012

Aids Council supports condoms in PNG schools

4:35 am on 16 May 2012

The National Aids Council believes a plan to distribute condoms in secondary and tertiary schools in Papua New Guinea is a necessity as youth are becoming sexually active at a younger age.

In an effort to curb the high rate of HIV infection in recent years reported among students, the Education Department has issued a document which includes a policy to distribute condoms in schools.

It has drawn some opposition from the Catholic Church, but Philip Tapo who looks after the National Prevention Strategy with the National Aids Council, says it generally supports the idea.

"In reality sex today in Papua New Guinea is being experienced at an early age compared to the way we have lived in the past. Today kids while at grade six, seven, grade eight are having boyfriends, girlfriends."

Philip Tapo concedes that making condoms available in schools could create more peer pressure and says the Education Department needs to think carefully about how it goes about distributing them.