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Joint Symposium: Are we there yet? Reaching global goals for HIV in Asia and Pacific Regions
HIV response in PNG. Are key populations being reached?
Dr Angela Kelly-Hanku, Senior Research Fellow, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research /Kirby Institute, UNSW, Sydney Papua New Guinea
An interesting discussion around whether key populations are being reached in terms of the HIV response within Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Dr Kelly-Hanku explained we need to ‘unpack’ the term key population and posed the question of exactly ‘who’ are the key populations.
Sexual identity: How one claims their sexual identity is changing in PNG. From bisexual to gay to men who have sex with men (MSM), to men of diverse sexualities.
Attraction: Who one is attracted to; only women, only men or mostly women for example, however this does not mean they are having sex with who they are attracted to.
Sexual behaviour: Who did they last have sex with? Male, female and so on.
These complexities around sexual identity may indeed be the reason why some key populations are not being reached in PNG, claiming the picture is far more complicated than people wanted to know.
Dr Kelly-Hanku suggests we learn how to work with it, through the different layers of diversity, attraction and ethnicity. Much more work needs to be done in order to reach the global targets for HIV and increase levels of testing and treatment, however PNG is up for the challenge, showing it can be done, where some financial donors have said no!