Lanka to end HIV by 2025 | Sunday Observer

Lanka to end HIV by 2025

All pregnant women will hereafter be screened for HIV and Syphillis. This follows a decision by the Ministry of Health to introduce universal antenatal screening for HIV as a national policy in 2013 which is showing positive results.

“ There was a high coverage for syphilis screening as well. So, it was decided to increase the sample of blood collected to 5 c.c to do HIV and syphilis tests from the same sample”, Acting Director, National STD/AIDS Control Program of Sri Lanka ( NSACP ), Dr Lilani Rajapaksa told the Sunday Observer. Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV commenced in early 2002 with the introduction of anti retroviral therapy ( ART) for HIV positive women. Due to the low number of volunteers fearing social stigma, the decision to introduce universal antenatal screening for HIV was re-started by the NSACP and the Family Health Bureau ad UN agencies such as WHO and UNICF. The feedback we have so far from the data collected has been very positive” she said.

She said Sri Lanka hoped to end HIV by 2025 ahead of the UN target of 2030 by identifying and treating 90 percent of HIV infected persons. Currently the estimated number of HIV patients in Sri Lanka is 4,200 of mainly young persons.

This year’s theme “Test, Treat Today and Know your status” is aimed at showing society that investing in youth will ensure a healthier future besides ending the HIV /AIDs threat,” she said.