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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 agencies.

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 efforts.

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 efforts.

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 the future.

As the Chairman of the National AIDS Council I wish to endorse my commitment and leadership to make Sri Lanka free of HIV AIDS".

 

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