HIV patient numbers, deaths on the rise



The number of HIV patients in the country has increased, with some 620 new patients and 81 deaths reported within a year, according to HIV/AIDS surveillance data from the National STD/AIDS Control Programme of the Health Services Department.

The 13 percent spike from the first quarter of total cumulative cases reported last year increased from 4,556 to 5,176 this quarter (January-March).

During the first quarter of this year, 165 new patients and 15 deaths were reported. A total number of 1,520 HIV-related deaths have been reported by 2022.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has called for expressions of interest to conduct a study on integrated bio-behavioural surveillance (IBBS) and population size estimation on key populations for HIV in Sri Lanka. The study is carried out every 4-5 years.

The last IBBS study carried out in 2018 noted that the prevalence of HIV and STDs remained very low across all population groups in Sri Lanka, but stated that “the presence of risk behaviour including inconsistent condom usage, poor HIV health-seeking behaviour, and poor knowledge of HIV, combined with poor coverage of HIV prevention programmes, could result in increases in prevalence”.


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