Papua New Guinea Officials Discuss Strategies To Integrate HIV/AIDS Services Into Agricultural System
Officials from Papua New Guinea's National Agricultural Research Institute recently met with a representative from the global health firm Options to discuss ways to integrate HIV/AIDS services into agricultural research programs, Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier reports.
According to Rachel Grellier, a social development consultant at Options, if the spread of HIV is not contained in Papua New Guinea, the country's agricultural system will face food and labor constraints because the system is dependent on labor. Grellier said the meeting aimed to discuss the situation with stakeholders and to develop ways to address the impact HIV/AIDS is expected to have on the agricultural system.
Grellier said that it is important to determine which agricultural systems are already experiencing the effects of HIV/AIDS and which aspects of each system are most vulnerable, adding that it will help stakeholders develop recommendations to address the situation. According to Grellier, strategies that aim to counter the effects and to address likely responses should be developed (Laraki, Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, 3/20).
About 1M STIs Diagnosed Annually in Papua New Guinea, WHO Says
In related news, the World Health Organization has estimated that about one million curable sexually transmitted infections are transmitted annually in the country, Manish Jain, Save the Children Fund's program director in Papua New Guinea, said Tuesday, PACNews/Marianas Variety reports.
Jain said the country's STI prevalence is among the highest in the world. According to a report recently released by the National AIDS Council, people living with STIs are 40% more vulnerable to HIV than people without an STI. He added that HIV is spread quickly and easily in areas with high prevalence of other STIs.
A Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research study conducted among people at high risk of HIV in the country's Eastern Highlands province found a 21%, 19%, 24% and 51% incidence of gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and trichomoniasis, respectively. In addition, 74% of people had at least one STI and 43% had more than one; however, less than 1% of the people were receiving treatment, Jain added.
Jain on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Eastern Highlands provincial government to implement a program aimed at improving STI clinics and bolstering STI prevention and treatment programs (PACNews/Marianas Variety, 3/19).