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Sharp Increase in HIV/AIDS Cases in Sri Lanka in 2023, Registers Nearly 700 Cases

Sri Lanka has witnessed a substantial rise in HIV/AIDS cases in 2023, with the National STD/AIDS Control Programme reporting a total of 694 cases. This reflects a significant 13 percent increase compared to the previous year, which saw 607 cases in 2022.

Among the cases reported in 2023, 91 males and five females fall within the age range of 15-24, while the remaining cases involve individuals above 25 years old. The male-to-female ratio of reported HIV cases in 2023 stands at 7.5:1.

The fourth quarter of 2023, spanning October to December, recorded the highest number of cases in a single quarter since 2009, totaling 209 cases.

In addition, 2023 has reported 59 deaths related to HIV/AIDS, and Sri Lanka conducted a total of 1,068,309 HIV tests during the same period.

In a noteworthy development, Sri Lanka officially reported 11 HIV cases within the transgender community, while a cumulative total of 4,706 males and 1,472 females have contracted HIV since 2009.

Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, the Director at the National STD/AIDS Control Programme, commented on the situation, stating that they observed a notable increase in HIV cases in 2023. When asked about the reasons behind the surge, Dr. Vidanapathirana pointed to the expanded testing capacity, lack of knowledge on sex education among people, risky sexual behaviors, and the failure to take necessary precautions as contributing factors.

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