Papua New Guinea Defense Force To Distribute 43M Condoms Nationwide
The Papua New Guinea Defence Force will store and distribute 43 million condoms throughout the country in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV, ABC Online reports. ABC Online reports that the National AIDS Council does not have the resources to distribute large amounts of condoms, which in the past has resulted in the expiration of some condoms. The Defence Force will provide storage space in the capital of Port Moresby and transport condoms throughout the country. Commodore Peter Llau said the distribution effort is a worthwhile cause, adding, "We don't normally deal with civil donor agencies, but this is one of those rare occasions when we've responded." ABC Online reports that an estimated 2% of the country's population is HIV-positive (Fox, ABC Online, 3/30).
In related news, Member of Parliament Jamie Maxtone-Graham recently said that the country has become complacent in its efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier reports. He said that people should change their attitudes toward the disease as rates of HIV/AIDS in rural areas are increasing rapidly. Maxtone-Graham said that there is no room for complacency, adding that an increasing number of children will be orphaned by the disease. Maxtone-Graham said that as chair of the Special Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS, he will call on other members of parliament to speak out about the disease in their communities (Gerawa, Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, 3/31).