I recently attended a meeting of fellow Catholics in Brisbane. The subject of the HIV/AIDS problem in Papua New Guinea was raised, with some information provided from James Cook University.
AIDS in Papua New Guinea is almost as bad as the problem in sub- Saharan Africa. The most successful developing country tackling AIDS is Uganda, thanks to widespread education in the virtue of abstinence.
AIDS has increased in PNG since 1997 by 30 percent per year. Despite PNG government propaganda, the most successful body tackling the problem has been the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, the Catholic bishops in PNG want to set up AIDS clinics in each of their dioceses, but do not have the funds.
25 percent of deaths are caused by AIDS, 14 percent by tuberculosis, and 5.7 percent by malaria. The problem of AIDS is worst along the Central Highway from Lae on the north-east coast. When people contract AIDS many of them go to Port Moresby for treatment or to hide. Ninety percent of HIV infections in the Pacific island territories are in PNG.
A fellow Catholic at the meeting noted that contraceptives have been of no use. This information proves the utter fallacy of the arguments put forward by the people who have dissented from Paul VI's Humanae Vitae over the last 40 years. It is disastrous that the people of PNG and other countries have to pay a terrible price for the culture of death.
FRANKLIN J. WOOD
North Rockhampton, Qld