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Turnbull Government tiptoes around foreshadowed cuts to HIV treatment programs in PNG



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SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE PACIFIC SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT TIPTOES AROUND FORESHADOWED CUTS TO HIV TREATMENT PROGRAMS IN PNG

Today in Question Time the Minister for International Development and the Pacific refused to answer whether the Turnbull Government would continue support for HIV programs in Papua New Guinea, which are due to end in 2017.

When Senator Fierravanti-Wells was asked about Australia’s commitment to fund vital and effective HIV treatment programs in PNG, she forewarned:

‘We are in the process of changing how we provide Australian aid to meet current and emerging health challenges and to ensure our funding remains effective’.

Whilst the Minister may say that ‘it is not an issue of funding - it is an issue of new arrangements’, and try to reassure there that there has been a ‘commitment to ongoing discussions with the PNG Government’ about the new arrangements, there was no answer to the question about what commitment and resources would be given to support people with HIV in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea, Australia’s closest neighbour, has the highest prevalence of HIV in Oceania (0.5% in 2012) and UNAIDS says that PNG is experiencing an epidemic concentrated in key population groups and in certain geographical locations.

TUESDAY, 8 NOVEMBER 2016

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