A major report released today contains research conducted on HIV stigma and discrimination in Papua New Guinea. Funded by PNG’s National AIDS Council, interviews were conducted in the Western Highlands and Chimbu provinces of the Pacific island. The data contained in the report provides information so that agencies and organisations can develop programs and responses to the vexed problems of stigma and discrimination face by positive people in PNG.
“This report is an extremely important document,” said Carol Kidu, member of PNG’s parliamentary committee on HIV. “I trust that serious note will be taken of this report and its recommendations and that it will be the beginning of more studies to build a repository of knowledge that will bring positive changes and reduce to zero our tolerance of stigma and discrimination.”
Authored by Dr John Rule and Don Liriope, the purpose of the report was to provide data on how stigma and discrimination create barriers to accessing services and how they impede the scaling-up of delivery of HIV treatment in PNG . “We also wanted to detail the levels of stigma faced by people living with HIV in different provinces and regions,” said Rule. “There are different experiences based on gender, sexuality or gender identity.”
The research contained in the report is the first step in what is hoped will be an ongoing project in PNG to fight the fear, shame and blame directed at PLHIV. “HIV does not kill people but stigma can kill and knowledge and compassion can prevent many unnecessary deaths,” said Kidu.
Read the full report here.
Read the summary report here.