Stories from Papua New Guinea

The purpose of my trip to Brisbane was to attend the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine (ASHM) Conference 2015. This conference is made up of two parts. The first part is the World STI & HIV Congress 2015 and second part is the Australasian HIV & AIDS conference 2015.

This was the second time I attended ASHM; my first experience with this conference was in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in 2013.

The Oil Search Foundation has been proud to assist Papua New Guinea, including the National Department of Health and its key partners in the important fight against HIV and AIDS. In 2012 with funding from the Global Fund and Oil Search Limited, the Foundation supported the Hela Provincial Health team, under the leadership of Dr Hewali Hamiya, to improve HIV services in the remote Hela Province.

To attend an international conference like ASHM 2015 in Brisbane for the first time was an evolution in my life. What changed me? I came to appreciate that HIV is very complex and ’empathy’ was the word I learnt at the 2015 ASHM. Additionally, to hear, know and meet professionals associated with the HIV pandemic was such an exposure that I personally embraced.

World AIDS Day is commemorated each year on 1 December. To commemorate this day, staff from the Oil Search Health Foundation participated in the Red Ribbon walk organised by the NCD Provincial AIDS Committee from the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) and supported by business houses, various partners, stakeholders and the National Department of Health (NDoH).