The Life Drama Project makes use of applied theatre & performance techniques to promote sexual health & wellbeing in Papua New Guinea, the Pacific and Northern Australia.


1.3.3 Prevalence

PNG has the highest incidence of HIV in the Pacific region. It is estimated that 2 per cent of the adult population, approximately 64,000 people, are now HIV positive. Some 9000 people die of AIDS every year in PNG. Significant HIV prevalence rates are found both in large urban areas, such as Port Moresby, and in rural pockets, typically around high risk settings including transport routes, mining and logging sites.

Most cases occur among people aged 20 to 40. The ratio of HIV-infected women to men is about one to one.

An AusAID-commissioned report, Impacts of HIV/AIDS 2005-2025 in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor—Final Report (2006), concluded that unless interventions to address the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS in PNG are scaled up, by 2025:

  • over 500,000 people will be living with HIV/AIDS
  • 117,000 children will have lost their mothers to AIDS
  • the workforce will have declined by 12.5%
  • GDP will be 1.3% less than predicted
  • 70% of all hospital beds will be needed for AIDS patients

It is particularly worrying that, although awareness of HIV is high, there is little evidence that people are adopting safer sexual practices.