The AIDS Prevention Programme is to create a new Facebook page to carry out a survey on sex workers in the country aimed at containing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, its Director Dr. Sisira Liyanage said.
He said although sex workers earlier operated from fixed locations and it was easier to assess their movements, with the advent of latest technology and communication means they also do not operate from fixed locations and it had become difficult to conduct a survey on them for health and medical purposes.
He said therefore they needed to tap internet resources to have an accurate survey. He said they hoped to survey the male sex workers as well.
A survey conducted in 2010 had put the number of sex workers operating in the country at 35,000 and 40,000, he said.
Dr. Liyanage said they widely used several mobile phone numbers, Facebook and other social media networks to contact clients at present.
He said the need for an accurate survey of the number of sex workers was essential due to the increase in the number of AIDS case reported. He said that there are 1950 AIDS patients in the country and of them 71 were children below 10 years of age who had contracted the disease through there mothers.
He also said it had been revealed that 64 AIDS patients were between the ages of 15 and 20. He said that AIDS was more prevalent in tourist areas. He said that they had conducted about 1.2 million AIDS test and expects to increase the tests to about Rs. 2 million. (Indika Sri Aravinda)