Mar 04, Colombo: The National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) of Ministry of Health, which spearheads the national response to HIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka, says the country is at the verge of successfully eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV.
Consultant Venereologist Dr. G. Weerasinghe of the Sri Lanka College of Sexual Health and HIV Medicine said this target will be achieved by the end of this year
Eleven children who were born to HIV infected mothers are reported to be in good health. This success has been attributed to the efficiency of the HIV prevention program in Sri Lanka.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is difficult to detect and to determine whether a person has been infected with the virus as the appearance of the person or the health of the person would not change for a long time after infection.
Out of the 300,000 Sri Lankans tested for HIV last year 284 people tested positive to the virus including 223 men and 61 women.
A child could be infected from a HIV infected mother while inside the womb, during delivery and from the mother's milk.
Dr. Weerasinghe sad that the Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV program mother has successfully been initiated in Sri Lanka since 2002 while reaching out for positive results.
Infection of HIV could only be determined through a blood test. Therefore, if a person who has suspicion of being infected with HIV, they can request a blood a test to determine the state of infection.
With proper intervention Sri Lanka could achieve success in eradicating HIV by 2025, Dr. Weerasinghe said.
National HIV prevalence remains relatively low in Sri Lanka and the country provides free access to HIV treatment for all eligible people.