Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Papua New Guinea: HIV
At the request of Senator Ludlam and Senator Moore, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that in Papua New Guinea:
(i) there are an estimated 46 000 people living with HIV, representing approximately 0.9 per cent of the population,
(ii) HIV is concentrated in geographic areas and among key populations, particularly sex workers and their clients and men who have sex with men,
(iii) in 2017, it is estimated that more than 400 infants will be born with HIV, a situation that is entirely preventable when women have access to HIV treatment,
(iv) in 2017, more than 1 000 people will die from AIDS-related conditions that are preventable with HIV treatment,
(v) an estimated 16 per cent of people with HIV in the National Capital District have resistance to first-line HIV treatment – the highest level in the world, and
(vi) together, these signal grave risks to the successes achieved by the long-term efforts of Papua New Guinea, Australia and other donors, to avoid a catastrophic, generalised HIV epidemic; and
(b) calls on the Government to review its contribution to Papua New Guinea's HIV response, and to develop a plan to mitigate future risks for Papua New Guinea's HIV response and Australia's health security.
Our overseas development assistance in 2017-18 for Papua New Guinea is about $546 million, including about $90 million for health. Combating HIV and other serious health problems remains a priority. The recently approved funding for integrated health programs that include HIV prevention and treatment will continue to support the PNG government to deliver better services using its own systems. We also work with other partners, including government, local organisations, the UN and Global Fund, to ensure HIV services are sustainable. Planning is underway for a new health program that will assist vulnerable groups in Papua New Guinea and focus on strengthening health security.
Question agreed to.