National AIDS Day -2018 Media Conference
It’s estimated that over 3600 people in Sri Lanka are infected with HIV while, only around 1355 are under care by the end of 2017. HIV incidence is gradually increasing with the highest recorded in 2017.
This year The National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) and partners (FPA Sri Lanka included) have decided to dedicate the World AIDS Day to promote testing in order to End AIDS by 2025 with special emphasis on protecting youth.
Sri Lanka has fast tracked its goal to eliminate AIDS by 2025. As such, the NSACP is taking innovative measures to empower individuals of key populations and the general public to evaluate self-risk and negotiate stigma and discrimination, including self-stigma to access available HIV and STI testing, treatment and care services.
The World AIDS Day walk will be held on the 1st of December and will commence at 8 am from the front lawn of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and conclude at the BMICH.
To bring focus to this campaign, a Media Conference was organized at the Health Promotion Bureau on the 13th of November.
At the event, opening statements were made by Dr.Paba Palihawadana (Director, Health Promotion Bureau) and the Chief Guest, Dr. Anil Jasinghe (Director General of Health Services Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition)
FPA Sri Lanka’s Executive Director and National HIV Prevention Project (Funded by GFATM) Project Director Ms Thushara Agus was one of the guest speakers at this event and spoke on FPASL's role in the National HIV Prevention Project. In her presentation, she explained who the identified key populations were, the Civil Society Partners, description of the service package offered which comprises awareness on HIV/STI’s, distribution of educational materials, condom demonstrations and mobilizing voluntary counselling and testing.
Other speakers were Mrs. Princy Mangalika, Positive Women’s Network, Dr. K A M Ariyaratne, Consultant Venereologist NSACP ( Presented on the Country Situation of HIV), Dr. Lilani Rajapakse, Consultant Venereologist, Director NSACP (Presented on the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of paediatric HIV), Dr. G. Weerasinghe, Consultant Venereologist, NSACP (Described the Implementation process of the National Response), and Dr. C. Jayakody, Consultant Venereologist, NSACP ( Sri Lanka World AIDS Day Programme lineup )
The conference concluded with a panel discussion.