PNG DEBATE ON LEGALIZING PROSTITUTION TO STOP AIDS SPREAD

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 20, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Political leaders have begun debating the possibility of legalizing prostitution as a way of controlling the rise in HIV/AIDS cases in the country.

Morobe Governor Luther Wenge opened the debate by calling on the PNG Government to give serious attention to fighting HIV/AIDS.

He suggested two measures - to legalize prostitution and to make the use of condoms compulsory for sexually active or promiscuous people.

Mr. Wenge said prostitution and sexual promiscuity were the main means of spreading AIDS.

He made these suggestions when debating a statement by Health Minister Ludger Mond, which highlighted the sharp increase in HIV/AIDS cases in PNG.

Former Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu, in supporting Mr. Wenge, said legalized prostitution would ensure people had access to proper medical and health facilities.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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