Be Careful

Low condom use and thriving sex trade makes Sri Lanka a hot bed for AIDS. Low condom use and thriving sex trade makes Sri Lanka a hot bed for AIDS. Sri Lanka had around 4,800 HIV-infected people, including children, by end of 2002 which is a low prevalence rate compared to the total population of 19 million.

In fact, since 1986, only 415 cases were officially reported but experts estimate the numbers at much higher, citing under-reporting due to limited counseling and testing facilities, coupled with social stigma.

“Stigma and discrimination abound,” says the World Bank about the attitude of Sri Lankan society to people with AIDS.

As a result, while people that test positive go underground and others are scared even to show up for a test, the risk of AIDS is climbing.

Sex and Drugs

The few studies conducted on sexual behaviour in Sri Lanka, show that a majority of Sri Lankan men do not use condoms – even with casual sexual partners.

In 1997, only 4.7 percent of men between the ages of 15 and 49 in the rural area of Matale and 9.6 p