Systematic Literature Review of HIV / AIDS research in PNG from 2009 – 2012

The Systematic Literature Review, commissioned by the Papua New Guinea National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS), is available here.

Systematic Literature Review of HIV/AIDS Research in PNG from 2009 – 2012. Reinhold Muller and David MacLaren:
Full report (1.04 Meg)
Executive Summary (117 kb)

Excel data files
These Excel files contain details on the material used in the structured literature review. To use these files please download and save them using right click.

A copy of the Endnote file can be downloaded below:

Endnote file (224kb)

Introduction to Review
Estimates of the HIV epidemic in PNG have recently taken a surprising turn. As recently as 2004, PNG was declared as having a “generalised HIV epidemic” based on trend data from Port Moresby General Hospital antenatal clinic (i.e., pregnant women). The grim outlook was that the HIV epidemic curve in PNG would follow the same trajectory that the HIV epidemics in east, central and southern Africa had taken. HIV prevalence figures of over 10% in the adult population were projected by 2025(HEMI Study 2006).

Over the last six years, however, data available for modelling the epidemic increased substantially due to contributions from more Antenatal Clinic sites (from all regions), Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission sites and Voluntary Counseling and Testing sites. In the 2010 modelling and projection project, the HIV prevalence among the adult population (15-49 years of age) was estimated to be 0.9% in 2009.

In 2011, another round of HIV estimation and projection was conducted. Based on this latest model, the prevalence of HIV nation-wide for PNG among the adult population (15-49 years) was estimated to be 0.8% in 2010 and 2011.

Another published model jointly developed by the PNG Institute of Medical Research and the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society, University of New South Wales, estimated an adult HIV prevalence of 0.85% in 2010, slightly increasing to 1.0% by 2020, if all the model parameters stayed the same as they were in 2010-11.

The most important change in the predictions is that prevalence estimates of HIV are substantially reduced. The implications are that the nation of PNG may be able to manage the HIV epidemic, which is now no longer predicted to “run away” to levels seen in sub-Saharan Africa, but to reach a plateau at around 1%. Although this news is welcome, the 1% prevalence is still seriously high, and the HIV epidemic has reached a level where many aspects of life and society are affected.

Evidence generated by local research on HIV/AIDS in PNG is an important basis for making policies and strategies locally relevant and more effective. Although research on HIV/AIDS is done in PNG and data is collected locally via various means, disseminating findings to all those who need to know is a major challenge. Systematic literature reviews can play a vital role in collating the research that has been published, assessing the quality of the research, summarising important findings and highlighting research gaps.

Systematic literature reviews of HIV/AIDS are an essential component of systems strengthening. In 2009 the first systematic literature review of HIV/AIDS research in PNG was published by King and Lupiwa. This covered research done or published in 2007-2008. The review identified 62 relevant studies, with only 44% published in the peer reviewed literature.

This 2012 review commences where the 2009 review finished by reviewing publications from 2009 to 2012.


HEMI Study. Impacts of HIV/AIDS 2005–2025 in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor. Final report of the HIV Epidemiological Modelling and Impact (HEMI) Study Team. AusAID; Canberra. 2006.

King E, Lupiwa T. A systematic literature review of HIV and AIDS research in Papua New Guinea 2007-2008. PNG National AIDS Council Secretariat; Port Moresby.

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Updated by Rick Speare 30 September 2013