Assessing the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of people living with HIV and AIDS in Papua New Guinea

However, comprehensive care and support, treatment and preventative services are improving across PNG, resulting in people living with HIV leading longer and healthier lives. Owing to weakened immune systems, people living with HIV are at risk of many life threatening opportunistic infections, many of which are caused by exposure to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene (World Health Organization, 2010). Chief among them is diarrhoea which is experienced by more than 90% of people living with HIV in developing countries (Thom and Forest, 2006). This increased prevalence may also increase the risk of diarrhoea among children living in the same household. Diarrhoea can also interrupt the absorption of ARV medication and cause deficiency in essential nutrients, leading to malnutrition and further exacerbating the consequences of HIV and AIDS.