The Centralian advocate Tue 28 Nov 2006
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers; Northern Territory; Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.); Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.); Australia, Central
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v. 60 no. 54
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Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, November 28, 2006 21 PU B :C A D V D A TE :2 8N O V -2 00 6 PA G E: 21 C O LO R : C M YK www.nt.gov.au Ph: 8901 4000 Chris Burns Minister for Health Get Informed Protect Yourself Spread the Word Clinic 34 Lets talk about it, many faces, different stories. World AIDS Day 1 December 2006 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES proudly supports Darwin Alice Springs Katherine Tennant Creek Nhulunbuy 8999 2678 8951 7549 8973 9049 8962 4250 8987 0356 Contact Clinic 34: or visit www.nt.gov.au/health AIDS AWARENESS Centralian AdvocateAdvertising Feature Papua New Guinea HIV Appeal Australias closest neighbour is in crisis Papua New Guinea has the highest incidence of HIV and AIDS in the pacifi c region. Over 60,000 people in PNG are living with HIV. We need your help to take action. Visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation. Phone 1800 811 70 toll free Send a cheque to GPO Box 2957, Melbourne Vic. 8060 marked PNG HIV Appeal. 49 22 02 /0 7 Epidemic is looming right on our doorstep AUSTRALIA has a potential HIV epidemic on its doorstep according to the CEO of Australian Red Cross Robert Tickner. Papua NewGuinea is at risk of a crippling HIV epidemic comparable to that in southern Africa. South African Red Cross CEO Mandisa Kalako-Williams said: In South Africa we see first hand the devastation that HIV and AIDS can wreak across the population. It is crucial now that Papua New Guinea RedCross,with support from the Australian Red Cross, continues to workwith thosealready affected and people at risk. We need all the help we can get if we are to make any significant headway against this epidemic. Implications MrTickner said: We must act not only because PNG is our closest neighbour and because we have historical ties with the country, but because an HIV epidemic has major economic as well as social implications. Some important facts regarding the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Papua New Guinea are: It has the highest rate of HIV in the Pacific region and the number of cases is growing; More than 90 per cent of the HIV infections reported in the Pacific are in PNG; HIV infection has hit epidemic proportions and it is one of the most significant prob lems facing PNG. In a population of 5.9 million, UNAIDS estimates 60,000 people are living with the virus; In contrast, UNAIDS estimates 16,000 people in Australia are living with the HIV virus, even though the Australian population is four times Papua New Guineas; and AusAID studies indicate that if immediate action is not taken, more than 500,000 people will be living with HIV in PNG within 20 years. This would be close to 10 per cent of the population. By the year 2025, this could mean: 300,000 adult deaths; Workforce reduced by 12.5 per cent and GDP by 1.3 per cent; and The health sector will be severely affected. To donate to the PNG HIV Appeal visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation, call 1800 811 700, or send a cheque to GPO Box 2957 Melbourne VIC 8060 marked PNG HIV Appeal. Celebrate progress in fight against AIDS THIS is World AIDS Week, so the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council and allied organisations are observing it in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek until this Saturday. Nick Butera, from the NT Aids and Hepatitis Council, with a red ribbon that is available to show support for World AIDS Week. For more information, call NTAHC Alice Springs regional manager Jill Meade on 8953 3172 or 0414 488 833. Picture: CHLOE ERLICH World AIDS Day, commemorated across the globe onDecember 1, celebrates progressmade in the battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic and brings into focus remaining challenges. The theme for this yearsWorldAIDScampaign is HIV/AIDS: Lets Talk about It; Many Faces, Different Stories. It also gives people the chance to talk about the disease pattern inNTwhere newHIVnotifications in 2005 and 2006 were identified in the heterosexual community is against national trends. Health Department figures for Alice Springs showSTI infection, particularly in the 15 to 19 age group, to be about 60 times the national average. NT AIDS and Hepatitis Council regional man ager JillMeade believes the challenge for services and government is to collectively find ways to radically address the STI epidemic in Central Australia incorporating the flow-on effect of HIV prevention/education strategies. There are now several different HIV medi cations available to prevent it fromprogressing to AIDS, and regular check-us are important for any sexually-active person. Free testing and treatment is available from Clinic 34, a confidential sexual health clinic, on Gap Road. NTAHC has organised events for World AIDS Week 2006: Today: Candlelight Vigil, 14 Railway Terrace, Alice Springs, 6.30pm until 8pm; Thursday: World AIDS Day Information Stall and sausage sizzle on the Uniting Church lawns, Todd Mall, 10am-2pm; Friday: HIV Education Session, John Hawkins LectureTheatre, Alice SpringsHospital, 12.30pm until 1.30pm; Outdoor Youth Festival sausage sizzle and film festival at the Uniting Church Lawns, Todd Mall, 6pm until 8pm; and Saturday: Red Hot Rooftop, Rooftop of The Lane, 58 Todd Mall, 8.30pm-1.30am. While the number of people with HIV in NT is small, 50 per cent of cases are heterosexual people. NTAHCworkswith people who are vulnerable to andaffectedbyHIV infection, providing confidential support services, general HIV/AIDS education and resources and harm reduction through the provision of clean injecting equipment.