The AIDS and Sexuality Control Program has reported a concerning increase in new HIV/AIDS cases, with 485 diagnoses recorded up to October of this year. Notably, a significant number of individuals identified in this tgroup fall within the 15-24 age bracke, including school children, highlighting the need for heightened attention to this situation.
Community medicine expert Janaki Vidanapathirana, the director of the AIDS control program, emphasized the urgency of addressing this rising trend. In 2021, 411 patients were identified, increasing to 607 in 2022, marking a 48% surge.
Dr. Vidanapathirana highlighted that although the estimated number of HIV patients in 2022 is 4100, not all cases have been identified. The target is to identify 95% of people living with HIV by 2025, and currently, 86% have been identified by 2022.
The director emphasized the importance of a new, comprehensive drug that combines various types of medications for HIV-infected individuals. This drug, taken daily as recommended, aims to facilitate ease of use for patients. Achieving the target of reducing AIDS patients to 0.001 by 2030 relies on adherence to this medication regimen.
Dr. Vidanapathirana urged individuals engaging in risky sexual behavior to undergo immediate blood tests. With all tests and drug treatments for identifying AIDS patients provided free of charge by the government, she stressed the importance of prompt action and reassured the public that health staff is bound to protect confidentiality.
These remarks were made during a press conference at the Health Promotion Bureau on World AIDS Day.