Papua New Guinea Dismisses Report Of HIV-Positive People Being Buried Alive

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HIV-Positive People Being Buried Alive

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The AIDS Committee of Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands provincehas found no evidence that people living with HIV/AIDS in the area wereburied alive, committee Deputy Chair Jeffrey Hurums announced recently,Papua New Guinea's the Nation reports (Miae, Nation,9/11). The committee launched an investigation after the local mediareported last month that HIV/AIDS advocate Margaret Marabe, who workswith the group Igat Hope, saw five people buried alive because theywere living with HIV/AIDS. Marabe had spent five months carrying out anHIV/AIDS education campaign in the Southern Highlands. "When they gotvery sick and people could not look after them, they buried them,"Marabe was quoted as saying (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/28).

Thereport prompted the National AIDS Council Secretariat to conduct aseparate investigation in response to reaction from church officialsand nongovernmental organizations, including donors and internationalagencies, according to the Nation. Hurums said officerswere sent into the Tari area of the Southern Highlands, where thealleged incidents were reported, and found no evidence of such crimes.

He also said committee members are appealing to their partners,stakeholders, NGOs, district AIDS committees, and voluntary counselingand testing centers to consult them before releasing any information tothe media or other organizations. The media report "sent wrong signalsto everyone, including the international community here and abroad, whoare funding" HIV/AIDS programs in the country, Hurums said (Nation, 9/11).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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