PNG highest in HIV prevalence in Pacific

PNG has the highest HIV prevalence amongst the Pacific nation with the highest HIV prevalence rate of 0.8% among the age group of 15-49 years of age.

Regional Manager for the National Aids Council Secretariat, Valentine Tangoh said this today at the First HIV Summit for PNG Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV and Aids.

Whilst presenting on the current prevalence case in PNG, he said that the Highlands region has a prevalence rate of more than 1% in HIV cases placing Enga Province as the leading province, followed by Morobe Province with 0.77%, NCD with 1.29% and Western Province with 1.1%.

He said it is more concentrated in certain geographical locations within key population and groups but it is clear that it is mostly concentrated in the Highlands region with the prevalence rate more than 1%.

HIV prevalence 1% or more is recorded mainly in the four highlands provinces.

Enga has a prevalence rate of 1.7%; Jiwaka has a 1.6% rating, Western Highlands with 1.3% and Eastern Highland with a 1% rating.

“Studies also indicate a high prevalence of HIV among female sex workers at 19%, male sex workers at 8.8% and 23% among transgender males.”

He said the main purpose of this summit is unite all church leaders to inform and empower Heads of Churches in PNG on the current HIV Status, reports and studies as well as achievements and the response gaps of HIV and AIDS of the country.

This will create an opportunity for heads of churches to deliberate on HIV and related sensitive issues that are affecting the country and how they can advocate as a collective voice to deal with these issues.


Annette Kora