Wednesday, 19 November 2008 5:48 AM

Mobile Phones Blamed for the Spread of AIDS in PNG

A workshop in Papua New Guinea heard that mobile phones were contributing to the spread of AIDS by making communication easier, allowing people to have affairs that lead to the spread of the disease.

According to PNG's Post Courier Online, 'the HIV/AIDS workshop in Lae, Morobe Province was told that mobile phones, the current craze in Papua New Guinea, were contributing to the spread of HIV virus'.

'Ghang Oyang, the adviser for HIV/AIDS within the AusAID funded Law and Justice Sector program informed participants at the National Judicial Staff Services (NJSS) workshop that mobile phones provided easy access for both married men and women to communicate with their lovers to meet at certain locations for sex'.

'He said this was one of the latest means of communication where both male and female partners swapped mobile numbers without the knowledge of their spouses' and that 'these couples were secretly carrying out their affairs but gave the excuse that they were on a late night job or were working late hours'.

'He said this behaviour was very dangerous especially with women in the rural areas and highway drivers along the Okuk Highway between Lae and the other highlands provinces' as the 'highway drivers indulged in sexual activities with women from the villages and this posed a major threat to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the highlands and Morobe Province'.

Mr. Oyang said 'the drivers contracted the virus from their multiple partners along the highway and finally transmitted the disease to their wives and the women did the same to their male partners in their areas', adding that "this practice was dangerous especially in the rural areas where the infection had been growing at an alarming rate since 1997".

'Mr. Oyang said the mobile man with money and mobile phone posed a real threat in the fight against the spread of HIV around Papua New Guinea'.

PNG has the highest incidence of HIV and AIDS in the Pacific region and is the fourth country in the Asia Pacific region to fit the criteria for a generalised HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to Wikipedia.

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