HIV control a development issue, says President
COLOMBO: The control of HIV is a development issue because it affects
the most productive age groups of the Society, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa said in his message for World Aids Day.
The President added: "As the Chairman of the National AIDS Council of
Sri Lanka, I am indeed pleased to be associated with this symbolic
function to commemorate the World AIDS Day falling on December 1.
We will join the world community and show our commitment to the
global cause of HIV control.
So far, Sri Lanka has been able to maintain a low-prevalent status
through the effective control measures undertaken by the Health
Ministry, supported by all other relevant sectors including NGOs and UN
The challenge for the future would be to further maintain the
low-prevalent status in the presence of all the ingredients in Sri Lanka
to end up in an epidemic, if we do not get together in our prevention
For this reason we have established a National AIDS Council including
all relevant sectors under my Chairmanship to give our National
Prevention Programme the highest political leadership which is essential
to make it happen.
Control of HIV is a development issue because it affects the most
productive age groups of the society. Let me thank our development
partners like World Bank, WHO, UNAIDS, Commonwealth Foundation, UNFPA,
UNICEF and JICA for their active support extended to the Government.
Since HIV Control involves behaviourial changes in the community
towards healthy behaviour, we need the cooperation of the public
especially the youth and vulnerable groups to join us in our preventive
My message to the people of Sri Lanka is to help the National
Prevention Programme in their efforts to keep Sri Lanka low-prevalent in
As the Chairman of the National AIDS Council I wish to endorse my
commitment and leadership to make Sri Lanka free of HIV AIDS".