2 Jul 2013

Clear progress in bid to control PNG's HIV/AIDS problem

4:34 am on 2 July 2013

A health director in Papua New Guinea says that the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic is being contained.

Fears in recent years that the unchecked spread of the disease through Highlands provinces in particular would result in a pandemic have now been allayed.

The Age reports that the epidemic is being contained, most of those infected are receiving lifesaving treatment and health workers are optimistic that it is manageable.

The PNG program director for health and HIV for the Australian Agency for International Development, Dr Geoff Clark says the disaster which was predicted hasn't happened.

He says it is a concentrated epidemic, not a generalised epidemic.

Dr Clark attributes the containment to better surveillance data and the number of people who are now on treatment.

However the virus still poses a formidable public health challenge - almost 12,000 adults and children were undergoing treatment last year, compared with about 9500 in 2011.