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Monday, 3 December 2012

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AIDS control receives Rs 1,000 m from Budget

The government allocated Rs 1,000 million through Budget 2013 for the programme launched by the Health Ministry to eradicate HIV/AIDS from Sri Lanka even though the island remains as a “low risk” country, Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake said. There are 34.2 million HIV/AIDS patients worldwide and 30 million among them are adults. The rest are children and youths. AIDS has not become a threat in Sri Lanka. However, the government has taken measures to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, he said.

The deputy minister was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the walk organised by the Health Ministry to mark ‘World AIDS DAY – 2012’ at the ministry premises on Saturday.

The first HIV patient in Sri Lanka was detected in 1981 and 1,597 persons with

HIV/AIDS have been identified so far in Sri Lanka. Two hundred and seventy five have already died. During the first 11 months of this year, around 135 HHIV/AIDS cases have been reported and 52 among them are new born children. Twenty two among these 135 AIDS patients have died, he said.

Dissanayake said due to the strong cultural and religious environment in Sri Lanka, it has stayed a low risk country where HIV is concerned, he said.

The walk commenced at the Health Ministry and ended at the Health Eradication Project.

Director General of Health Dr Palitha Maheepala, a number of artistes and volunteer organisations also participated.

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