U.S. Ambassador Tours Papua New Guinea STI Clinic That Offers HIV Testing, Counseling
U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Leslie Rowe on Friday visited the newly established sexually transmitted infection clinic in the capital of Port Moresby, which also provides HIV testing and other services, the Papua New Guinea Post Courier reports. The clinic was set up by HOPE Worldwide Papua New Guinea and Family Health International and receives funding from USAID. According to statistics released by the clinic, five out of 75 people who access voluntary HIV testing and counseling each week at the clinic test HIV-positive. In addition, 1,250 people as of Friday had attended the clinic. According to clinic medical officer George Low, the HIV cases detected at the clinic occur among different age groups, including young people. He added that a large number of people test positive for STIs other than HIV at the clinic.
During Rowe's visit, FHI Country Coordinator Nayer Kaviani said the clinic has become the first satellite clinic in Papua New Guinea that provides comprehensive and integrated services for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Kaviani added that the country's Department of Health and the National Capital District Commission are involved in the clinic. Also during Rowe's visit, health department STI adviser Esorom Daoni said that by the end of the year, all provinces in Papua New Guinea should have HIV testing sites. He added that this means that 60% to 70% of HIV-positive people in the country should have access to antiretroviral drugs (Gerawa, Post Courier, 9/29).