The Governments of Sri Lanka and the US launched a two-year HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance Partnership on December 8, to fast track the government efforts to end AIDS by 2025, the US Embassy said on Tuesday.
The Embassy said the US Agency for International Development (USAID) would help to transfer promising solutions, new technical skills and innovations to contribute towards ending AIDS in Sri Lanka, through the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
USAID Sri Lanka Mission Director Andrew Sisson said they have been working closely with the Sri Lankan Government on a number of social and economic development efforts.
“This partnership is very important as Sri Lanka moves down the path to ending the spread of AIDS,”he said.
USAID India Mission Director Mark Anthony White said they are happy to partner with USAID Sri Lanka to support this important initiative to strengthen the HIV response, especially for key populations. “We hope this leads to more health collaborations between India and Sri Lanka,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said when it comes to HIV/AIDS, we must have a new approach and the public health approach has to be coupled with a societal approach.
In a statement, the Embassy said the two-year partnership will work in close collaboration with key stakeholders in the country to improve access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services for at-risk or key populations (KP) due to their increased vulnerability for contracting/transmitting the HIV virus.
The Sri Lankan Government is committed to ending AIDS in country by 2025, ahead of the UN’s Global Commitment to end AIDS by 2030.