Sunday, November 29, 2015

Know your HIV status, get tested

AS International World AIDS Day is observed tomorrow (December 1), people are yet again reminded about the importance of getting tested and knowing their status.

"Know your status – get tested" is the message Anitua health coordinator John Kumb is promoting across the Anitua Group of Companies in the lead up to World AIDS Day.

Anitua’s SHEC Quality Assurance Administrator Rolec Suma said that "knowing your status is the first step towards living longer with HIV as the sooner someone knows that they are HIV positive then the sooner they can start taking the right medicine".

He said the increased levels of HIV/AIDS in PNG were related to the high levels of gender violence.

He said a reduction in sexual violence (rape) will result in a reduction in HIV/AIDS.

He said that "not knowing your HIV status was dangerous for you and dangerous for others – including the people you love."

"Even if you feel fine and healthy, HIV can quickly cause your health to deteriorate – eventually leading to full blown AIDS which causes death.

"Taking the right medicine early can stop this from happening.

"HIV is a communicable disease. This means that it can pass from one person to another.

"The most common way to catch HIV is through unprotected sex.

"Other than having no sex at all, wearing a condom is the best way to stop the sexual transmission of HIV.

"Only having one long-term sexual partner is also helpful," he said.