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16 AIDS deaths in Sri Lanka this year

2013 Jul 23

In the first six months of this year 16 people have died of HIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka, the Director of the HIV Prevention Programme Dr. Sisira Liyanage has said.

According to Dr. Liyanage 90 people have been identified as HIV patients this year and 7 of them are children.

All pregnant women are now being subjected to a HIV test as these children had been infected with HIV from their mothers.

In 2012, as a pilot project, 14,095 antenatal mothers have been screened for HIV and 2 of them have found to be positive for HIV.

The National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) of Sri Lanka figures show that there were 1,739 identified HIV positive cases in the island up to now and 299 have succumbed to the disease. About 1.5 times more males have contracted the disease than females.

According to the NSACP there is an estimated 45,000 HIV positive cases in the island.

Sri Lanka has committed to be a "champion in the AIDS response" towards achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

National HIV prevalence remains relatively low in Sri Lanka and the country provides free access to HIV treatment for all eligible people.

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