Number of HIV patients in Anuradhapura increases | Daily News

Number of HIV patients in Anuradhapura increases

Dr. Hema Weerakoon attached to the Sexual Health Centre of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital told the Daily News that within the past five months alone, 13 HIV positive cares have been detected from the Kahatagasdigiliya, Nuwaragam Palatha (Central), Thambuttegama, Horowpothana and Medawachchiya DS Divisions. She said that when compared the number of patients in 2020 and 2021, the last five months shows a significant increase of the HIV patients.

“The first HIV patient in the Anuradhapura District has been detected 20 years ago and 10 per cent out of the patients reported from the Anuradhapura District have died. According to the latest reports, there are around 3,906 HIV patients under treatment in the country at present. So far 1,381 patients have died of the disease. Due to shame and guilt, those who practise unprotected sex, deliberately avoid HIV tests at Sexual Health Centres affiliated to government hospitals. A blood test following an unprotected sex act, one can successfully avoid an HIV infection, Dr. Hema Weerakoon said.

The doctor also said that the Government, while treating the patients by maintaining secrecy, issue all required drugs and provide instructions and counselling free and even travelling expenses are paid to the patients and non-governmental and philanthropic organisations provide funds in assisting school goingchildren in affected families to continue education.

“In Anuradhapura including the sacred city area, there are around 200-250 casual sex workers who have got registered themselves in the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital’s Sexual Health Centre. There may be a large number of persons infected with the virus. If these elements seek prescribed medical treatments sans any groundless fear, this social menace could be eradicated completely,” Dr. Weerakoon said.


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