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Sri Lanka aims to be HIV free by 2030

Sri Lanka aims to be HIV free by 2030
Sri Lanka is making timely interventions in its efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has said.

The UNFPA said it supported Sri Lanka’s efforts to implement a five-year National Condom Strategy 2016-2020 as the correct and consistent use of condoms was one of the most effective means of preventing sexual transmission of HIV, Xinhua news agency reported.

The UNFPA said it also supported Sri Lanka’s National STD/Aids Control Programme (NSACP) in developing HIV/Aids guides for Primary Health Care Workers and those working in condom programming, with the objective to equip officials with the knowledge and skills to improve their awareness on condom use among communities.

“I am happy to note that the Sri Lankan government has engaged closely with UNFPA from the start of the journey in ensuring a Comprehensive Condom Programming is carried out in Sri Lanka,” UNFPA country representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Alain Sibenaler said.

Sri Lanka has recorded a drop in HIV/Aids prevalence when compared to other South Asian countries, the Global Fund said recently.

Sri Lanka’s National STD (sexually transmitted disease) Eradication unit recently asserted that the majority of victims infected with HIV/Aids in the island nation were aged between 25 and 45 years.

The Health Ministry said the spread of the disease was due to the tourism industry, use of drugs, homosexual behaviour and immigration.

A total of 228 persons were diagnosed with HIV/Aids in Sri Lanka in 2014. In September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Sri Lanka malaria-free, after certifying that the life-threatening disease had been completely eliminated in the island.

“Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remark able. In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free,” WHO regional director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, had said.

The announcement came at the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia Region.