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Riley, Ian
It's Everyone's Problem: HIV/AIDS and Development in Asia and the Pacific - Lessons from Sexually Transmitted Disease Epidemics
AusAID, 22 November 2000, p. 8

Paper prepared for Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Special Seminar, November 22, 2000. Reproduced with AusAID's kind permission.


"Papua New Guinea (PNG) has experienced three epidemic waves of STDs since written medical records were first kept. The first was identified by Europeans towards the end of the nineteenth century. It may well have commenced as early as the 1830s but even now, at the beginning of the 21st century, its force is by no means spent. It was one of the more disastrous outcomes of the labour trade and comprised, principally, gonorrhoea and granuloma inguinale, although other diseases may well have been involved. The second was of syphilis and commenced about 1969; it appears to have been consequent upon the eradication of yaws. The third was of HIV and AIDS - the first case of AIDS being diagnosed in 1987. This brief account is of the first two of these three waves. British New Guinea and German New Guinea were separately annexed in 1884. In 1906 British New Guinea formally became the Australian Territory of Papua. An Australian military administration governed German New Guinea from 1914 to 1921 which was then administered by Australia as a Mandated Territory of the League of Nations until 1942 when New Guinea became a theatre of war. After World War II Australia administered the two territories as one until Independence in 1975. The various administrations provide a fascinating study of the effect of often subtle variation in policy upon health services and disease."

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