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Scaling Up HIV Testing Amid Rising Cases Among Youth

In response to the significant prevalence of HIV cases among young people aged 15-24, health authorities have intensified testing efforts targeted at this demographic.

Consultant Venereologist Dr. Vino Dharmakulasinghe from the National STD/AIDS Control Programme, speaking to Daily Mirror, highlighted a notable increase in HIV cases, particularly among males. The Western Province, specifically Colombo and Gampaha, has been most affected by this trend.

Health officials are launching extensive intervention and awareness campaigns to curb the spread of HIV among the nation’s youth.

In 2023, a total of 1,009,685 HIV tests were conducted across the island, with a significant number of positive cases detected through tests conducted at blood banks, private hospitals, and laboratories.

Despite an increase in self-testing, clinic visits have declined, noted Dr. Dharmakulasinghe, emphasizing the accuracy of clinic-based testing. Self-testing numbers rose from 117 in the first quarter to 579 in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Appointments for tests can be booked at

The first quarter of 2024 reported 207 new HIV/AIDS cases, including 13 deaths, marking a 25% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

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