Heads of churches to meet over HIV/AIDS

The inaugural HIV Summit for heads of churches in Papua New Guinea is set to take place tomorrow March 15 and 16 at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.

A media briefing was held this morning to brief media on the agenda, key speakers and officiators of the summit for the next two days.

His Eminence, Sir John Cardinal Ribat during the meet this morning said that the summit will be opened tomorrow by Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

“The summit will unite the heads of churches throughout Papua New Guinea and will discuss sensitive issues relating to HIV and AIDS such as Gender Based Violence (GBV), stigma and discrimination, human rights, access to service in issues affecting the key population’s in the country.

Cardinal Ribat said PNG is a Christian country and our response to address HIV must be seen to be genuine as such and we must continue to demonstrate the character of good Christians.

 “All heads of churches from within our regions and provinces will be flying in today to attend the pre-summit workshop this evening to prepare themselves to actively and proactively participate in the two day summit,’ he says.

As Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV/ AIDS, Cardinal Ribat encourages all heads of churches to attend the summit and fully engage themselves in the discussions to collectively construct the way forward into the future.

“The churches in PNG are doing more to address HIV and Aids in the country and this summit will challenge us as heads of churches on how best we can be able to do better in addressing HIV and AIDS.

He adds that PNG was recognized as the third in the Asia-Pacific Region with the highest HIV treatment initiations and that is something that people and the country should be proud of.

“These achievements and recognition was done through the contributions made the churches in PNG and I encourage the Christian community in the country to pray for the heads of churches as we begin the summit tomorrow so that the discussions can be inspired by the spirit of God.”

Annette Kora