HIV testing ramped up amid rising cases among youth

Colombo, June 18 (Daily Mirror) - In response to the significant prevalence of HIV cases among young people between the ages 15-24, the health authorities have scaled up testing especially targeting the said group.

Speaking to Daily Mirror, Consultant Venereologist Dr. Vino Dharmakulasinghe of the National STD/AIDS Control Programme highlighted a pronounced increase, particularly among males.

The Western Province, notably Colombo and Gampaha, bears the brunt of this trend.

In response, health officials are launching extensive intervention and awareness campaigns to halt the spread 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 reported from tests carried out at blood banks, private hospitals, and laboratories.

Furthermore, despite an uptick in self-testing, clinic visits have declined, noted the expert, who encourages people to come for clinic-based testing for its accuracy. In 2023, self-testing has increased from 117 (first quarter) to 579 (fourth quarter).

She also said appointments for tests can be booked at

The first quarter of 2024 recorded 207 new HIV/AIDS cases, including 13 deaths—a 25% increase from the same period in 2023.

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