World AIDS Day today
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will mark the World AIDS Day today.
A walks has been organised to mark World AIDS Day from the SLRC Head
Office to Viharamahadevi Park. The walk begins at 9.00 am. Health
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva is due to attend the event and address
the participants at the Viharamahadevi park.
The first global HIV case was reported in 1981 in the United States.
Sri Lanka identified the first HIV case in 1986 and the person was a
foreigner. The first Lankan AIDS victim was detected in 1987. Gradually
this number has increased to around 800.
Sri Lanka is vulnerable due to reasons such as poverty, unemployment,
tourism, alcohol usage, child prostitution, migration, large factories
and projects, and internal strife.
However the prevalence is low due to the cultural and religious
Thus Sri Lanka is treated as a low prevalence country in terms of
HIV/AIDS while India has recorded over 5 million cases.
United Nations Secretary General in a message issued to mark the day
said that since the first case 25 years ago, AIDS has changed the world.
It has killed over 25 million people and has infected over 40 million
more and has become the world's leading cause of death among both men
and women aged 15 to 59.
His message also stressed the need for a political will to fight the
deadly disease and has pointed out the role that every has to play.