What is Igat Hope Incorporated (IHI)?

Igat Hope is essential to an effective HIV response in PNG and the involvement of People living with HIV and AIDS at every level of the HIV response is critical. This is the idea behind Greater and Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS in responding to HIV (GIPA and MIPA). 


IHI has come a long way from its earliest days, formally established at an annual general meeting of members in 2003, and now plays an important part in the national HIV response. Since November 2010 when IHI adopted a new constitution, it became an organisation of members throughout PNG. It acts on behalf of PLHIV throughout PNG and represents PLHIV in a range of important forums and committees. It also plays an important role in advocating for better health outcomes for PLHIV, and it fights to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination. IHI plays an important role in building a stronger national network of PLHIV groups, building the capacity of these groups and linking them with IHI, each other and other implementing partners in the response.


With a nationally-elected board, IHI has as one of its priorities to support the board in its understanding of the organisation and the relationships with other organisations including development partners. The Board has roles and responsibilities as custodians of IHI and provides leadership to its membership.


It has always been recognised that there is a vital role that people living with HIV & AIDS can play in the national response. Engagement of PLHIV in the response is essential to address issues like stigma & discrimination, prevention of HIV, and treatment, care and support services for those living with the virus. Involvement of PLHIV is essential and must be integral to the response.


Giving voice to positive people on such issues through advocacy programs is the key responsibility of IHI. For PLHIV networks in the provinces to be effective in their participation, they will require continued support for their activities. It is therefore important for IHI to play a coordination role in ensuring that there is good capacity amongst the networks. IHI also promotes a shared purpose across PLHIV groups, uniting them in a common cause yet respecting their diversity.


For PLHIV networks to participate meaningfully, capacity building is vital. As these networks are been established to be autonomous, IHI provides support in the areas of good governance, leadership, skills in management and basic skills to self-manage and build sustainability. To establish any network requires funding support to enable regular support visits to occur. Funding support is also needed to enable capacity building, training, registration of networks and so on, the holding of board meetings and maintenance of peer support.


In supporting these activities IHI is also strengthening its national secretariat to better manage and support the networks. IHI is very clear in its definition of support to these networks — IHI is not about conducting activities that can be managed at the local network level. IHI is to oversee the issue of access at the national level and give a national voice to issues and challenges that are being experienced at the local or provincial level. 


What are Igat Hope’s objectives?

The objectives and the purpose of Igat Hope are set out in our Constitution. They are:


  • Provide a united voice of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in PNG;

  • To represent all PLHIV in PNG and to act as a peak representative body for all PLHIV groups in PNG;

  • To lobby governments and government departments, community groups and other relevant organisations to ensure that PLHIV are involved at every level of HIV/AIDS policymaking;

  • To empower PLHIV in PNG with information, referral and advice on all relevant HIV issues; in particular information concerning the treatment of HIV infection, information on care, support, legal rights and life issues for those living with HIV/AIDS;   

  • To advocate on behalf of PLHIV in PNG about issues of concern for PLHIV with the aim of ensuring the best possible levels of care, support and treatment for those living with HIV/AIDS;
  • To promote a positive image of people living with HIV and affected by HIV, with the aim of eliminating prejudice, isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination arising from HIV/AIDS in PNG;
  • To work closely with other relevant organisations, locally, nationally and internationally, in pursuit of these goals;

  • To receive donations, grants and bequests from persons and institutions including governments and to engage in such fund-raising activities as may achieve the objects of the Association.


What are our hopes for Igat Hope?
  • To be well organised

  • To build Igat Hope’s networks

  • To build networks with donors so that we can work together

  • To do something for people living with HIV/AIDS

  • To see Igat Hope in all provinces of PNG

  • To let the world hear the voice of PLHIV

  • To combat stigma and discrimination

  • To identify to the world that we have hope

  • To say to the world we have a national identity

  • To become a model for the nation so that others won’t be in silence

  • To come out in public and talk so that others can do the same

  • To bring out hope in others

  • To help realise PLHIV dreams.