Dec 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka's National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) of the Ministry of Health under the Director General of Health Services has launched an island wide programme to screen pregnant women for HIV.
The programme aims to prevent the transfer of the disease to the babies from the HIV positive mother, the Director of the Aids Prevention Programme Dr. Sisira Liyanage said.
According to the NSACP statistics so far 18 HIV positive mothers had been diagnosed and the children of 12 of the mothers were infected with the disease.
The programme has been successful in safeguarding six children from mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of the disease by timely action, Dr. Liyanage said.
Dr. Liyanage anticipates the number of HIV positive pregnant women to increase to 30 in 2014.
Sri Lanka has committed to be a "champion in the AIDS response" towards achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
National HIV prevalence remains relatively low in Sri Lanka and the country provides free access to HIV treatment for all eligible people.