6. STI, HIV, AIDS
Sexually Transmitted infections (STIs) make people much more vulnerable to the HIV virus, which in turn can develop into AIDS.
I have been involved in the study of cultural factors contributing to the spread of STIs and HIV in the Simbu Province and the Southern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea. The study highlights how STIs and HIV are not merely health issues, but also have significant social, cultural, and personal dimensions which can contribute to the spread of disease. The study also notes strategies that can lessen the spread of such diseases and their effects.
An issue of great concern is stigma and discrimination which can accompany such diseases. See the report Sik Nomol or Sik Nogut and Nomol Now available from Caritas Australia (www.caritas.org.au), and articles such as "Healing in the Context of HIV and AIDS in Papua New Guinea" (2008) in the "Writings" section of this website.
See also videos: Mist in the Mountains (www.vimeo.com/13991163) and World AIDS Day in Mendi (www.vimeo.com/13993903). (A link to the second film is provided below)