Red Alert

Ahead of World AIDS day on December 1st, the good news is Sri Lankas low AIDS numbers, but the bad news is the countrys high vulnerability to the disease.
To stem the tide, the World Bank is considering financing AIDS treatment drugs as part of its ongoing US$ 12.6 mn HIV/AIDS package to Sri Lanka. rn

rnWhile the reported number of HIV positive cases in Sri Lanka is a conservative 509, the estimates range between 4,700 and 7,200, says Dr. Iyanthi Abeywickrema, Director National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP). rn

rnThe numbers increase by around 50 new victims every year, Abeywickrema told a news conference on Tuesday. rn

rnDespite these comparatively low numbers, experts from UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) and the NSACP warn that Sri Lanka is highly vulnerable to the disease. rn

rnFor starters, the island is hemmed in by countries reporting extremely high and growing numbers of HIV victims. rn

rnIndia is estimated to have the worlds second highest number of HIV v